As Christians many times we are called to go against the grain. God’s Word demands that we fight or stand up for for many things that are in opposition to the world’s agenda such as the sacredness of marriage, the value of life and the exclusivity of the Gospel.
As believers there are also times whenwe must go against the grain in personal conscience areas making choices we know are what God is calling us (or our family) to do. These things might include having a different practice in relationships (courting), choosing to forgo college or a long list of other things.
Whether it is a Biblical mandate or personal calling there will be times in the Christian life when we will be going against the grain of common society. Sometimes this can cause us to feel lonely and discouragement can creep in. We can identify with how Elijah felt, “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” (Romans 11 NASB)
Have you ever felt that way? You feel like you are the only one obeying the Lord in a particular area and the culture is in direct opposition to you.
Take heart! This is God’s response to Elijah:
“But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”
There are days when we feel like we are alone and the only one swimming up stream but this is not the case. There are others who have lived through the struggle before us, there will be some that live it after us and there are those who are living it right now along side us.
3 Things to help you stay strong when going against the grain
#1 Know why you are doing what you are doing.
Ask yourself “why am I going against the grain in this area?” Are you following a command from the Word of God? Are you following a calling you know God has for your life? If so, the small, earthly sacrifices the Lord asks of us are worth the struggle in light of the great sacrifice He made on our behalf. Put your difficulty in the light of the Gospel and suddenly we see things from an eternal perspective.
#2 Take hold of Truth.
I think one of Satan’s most powerful weapons would have to be the lies he whispers to us when we are discouraged. Do not allow yourself to believe that you are the only one doing right. Do not allow yourself to believe you don’t matter or can’t make a difference. Do not allow yourself to believe that it’s not really worth it. Instead, combat these lies with truth. Fill your mind with Scripture, worthy songs, good books and articles. Give yourself a steady stream of true encouragement.
#3 Seek community.
When you are feeling alone, as you go against the grain, seek the fellowship of likeminded believers. We all need the encouragement of fellow Christians and it’s much easier to keep going strong when you know others are walking this road with you. This can be done by plugging into a healthy church, connecting with believers in your community or perhaps through your family. One way I have found much encouragement is through the friendships and connections I have made online. I have found several likeminded bloggers who have similar life callings and we encourage each other regularly through our blog posts and personal messages.
If God called you to something He will be faithful to equip you. If God called you to something it will undoubtedly be worth the struggle.
Do you every feel like you are the only one going against the grain? How so? How do you stay strong and seek encouragement?