Keep it, stand firm in it, strengthen it. 

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 

-1 Corinthians 16:13

 Stand firm in the faith.. Italicized words usually mean something.

& up on her soapbox she gets.

Standing firm in our faith is something that is absolutely challenging and crucial to our lives as Christians. As some of us have made huge transitions the past few months and are moving on to bigger and better things(a.k.a college), we change. Whether we see that or not, chances are that when you come home for Thanksgiving, your parents will say something along the lines of: “Wow! You’ve grown!”,”You actually clean your room now?”,”How many bowls of ramen do you eat now?”. Yeah. We change. Some for the good, some for the, eh, not so good. But these are not particularly the changes I am here to rant about.

Many times, college brings up this idea of “Hey, nobody knows who I am or who I was, so I get to remake my entire identity here.” And, yes! You do get this opportunity! It is a beautiful thing. New people, new room, new city/state, new friends, new surroundings, new desires, new choices, new responsibilities.

You are no longer around the same friends you were in high school(or maybe even elementary school); the ones who shared your common interests, the ones who know all of your secrets, the ones who could say your exact order at Pancheros off the top of their heads, and most importantly, the ones who held you and your faith accountable. We are faced with new influences, without the people who did not force you to do a thing, and suddenly there’s a hundred new choices to make. We no longer have our mom’s and dad’s standing behind us saying what we can/can’t, should/shouldn’t do. We are so vulnerable, so desiring to fit in, so amidst change; we are put under pressures that we were not under three months ago. 

Your faith is YOUR responsibility. The faith that you walked into that dorm room with in August, the faith that you were uncomfortable bringing up with your new roommate that you had never met(or if you were like me, not uncomfortable because you somehow ended up with the best roommate in the world), the faith that you have had since you committed your life to Christ; remember that faith? I pray you do. I pray that faith is growing stronger daily. I pray that faith is being communicated to your peers, no matter how many others stand up for this faith with you. I pray that that faith will strengthen you and bless you, and keep you. Keep you happy, content, secure, and in a solid relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our solid rock. 

Use this opportunity for a new identity for good. Show and teach the love and faithfulness and mercy of Christ to those who you are now living life in the midst of at this new place. Talk about impressive. 

I have watched this happen. I have watched people who came in with strong faith forget about it, ignore it, or completely drop it. It hurts so, so much to see this happen, and to be real, you can’t do much about it. They think it’s “not a big deal” or they don’t want to talk about it.  They let excuses rule their life and peer pressure break them open. 

Do not let that one bottle of beer be your excuse. Do not let that one night stand be your excuse. Do not let any of the influences that we now face be your excuse for misplacing your faith; even if it may only be misplaced for a second.

Because, let me tell you friends, God has never made an excuse for mistreating us, our love, and our devotion to Him(in my head that was said in an inspirational whisper..). 

Keep. Your. Faith. Strong. 

Do not let this tidal wave of new opportunities and influences drown you. Our God is the reason you are alive, you are loved and you are forgiven. Your faith is the ONE THING that will keep your feet on the ground. Not your relationship, your grades, or your social life. 

Do not do anything you wouldn’t want to do holding hands with God. Don’t be involved in the parties that Jesus wouldn’t get invited to. Do not do anything that isn’t the real you. Do not change for others. Do not change to “fit in” or “be cool.” Do not change for a girlfriend/boyfriend. 

Change for God. 

In the end, who matters the most? Who holds your eternity? Who knows every detail about your future and literally decides what happens to you? 

That’s right. 

I dare you to stand up for your faith. I challenge you to find those accountability partners. I guarantee you there are people going through this exact struggle and they are looking for people like you to help them out and hold them accountable. I pinky promise you this will work for your good. God always has people that come into your life for a reason and you have your faith for so, so, so many reasons. 

Keep your faith. Stand firm in your faith. Strengthen your faith. 

Love always,

Mads ❤