Continued from here.
I was blown away by this teaching and can personally testify to the truth of the importance of maintaining an atmosphere in your life that is conducive to your faith. I have not been as consistent with surrounding myself with friends of faith to spur me on, but I do have some dear Christian friends who I reach out to for prayer support when I am struggling. It helps to talk with someone who has been in the trenches and has personally experienced God’s faithfulness as you are facing your own storms in life.
If you want to be a man or woman of great faith – not just in size but in duration – I strongly encourage you to partner with others who are chasing God and to take intentional steps to control your atmosphere. Even if you can only set aside five minutes at a time, follow Daniel’s lead to set aside three times a day to pray and thank God. This simple act can radically change your outlook, shifting your focus from the size of your storm to the size of your God.
Also, remember that endurance is built one step at a time. Think about an alcoholic following the Alcoholics Anonymous program one day at a time. It’s too much to think about never drinking again, but it’s manageable simply to get through this moment. The program encourages accountability through a sponsor – perhaps find a “faith sponsor” for yourself to hold you accountable for growing your faith. And the program also encourages a change in atmosphere, such as no longer frequenting bars or being in relationships with people who are going to encourage the alcoholic to drink. In the same way, we can change our atmosphere to remove ourselves from the influences that lead us to doubt God and replace those influences with those that encourage us to keep walking toward God, no matter how stormy the waters. Just as an alcoholic can learn to live sober, you can learn to continue walking in faith, one step at a time.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace standing by a staircase and asking, “What’s good?” Courtesy Bitmoji.]