Life as a young Christian can be challenging. I had trouble in my faith when I was in college, as do many young Christians setting off on their own, perhaps for the first time.
It’s around this time that a lot of young Christians in college start turning away from Bible study, prayer, and going to church. It’s much easier to catch up on sleep or spend the evening hanging out with friends than doing something that can help cultivate your faith.
Basically, Saul was anointed King of Israel, but disobeyed God. Samuel, the profit, is told by God to find a new King of Israel, and he finds David, a shepherd boy.
David defeats Goliath (a very well-known story) and actually becomes close to King Saul. However, Saul grows jealous of David and how the people adored him. Now, let’s talk about the differences between David and Saul:
DO YOU REMAIN FAITHFUL OR DO YOUR OWN THING?
He trusts God, evidenced in I Samuel 17:37, as he tells Saul that God has protected him from animals of prey as he watched sheep, and he will surely protect him as he goes up against Goliath. As we know, he is victorious.
However, Saul goes against the will of God. Samuel the profit tells Saul to go and destroy the Amalekites and everything that they have. The reason for this is unknown (at least to me), but Samuel was instructed to do this by God.”
“And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” – I Samuel 15:8-9
Doing your own thing historically isn’t a great idea, and Saul is meant to be an extreme example of that. That’s not to say that your life will be easy as a Christian, but it will be a whole lot lonelier and more difficult without that relationship.
It is so easy to do the wrong thing and go against what you know God would want for you. Everyone is doing it and it seems like you’ll miss out if you don’t do it too. Trust me, I made a whole lot of mistakes when I was in college, some of which still effect my life today. It is worth it to remain faithful to God’s word. My life undoubtedly would have been much more victorious (thus far) had I maintained that relationship.
DO YOU REMAIN HUMBLE OR DO YOU BECOME ENVIOUS?
It says in I Samuel 18:7 that the women in Israel would come from their houses and say “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousand.” It says from then on, Saul watched David closely. This set off a “witch hunt” of sorts with David. Saul would do things to hurt David intentionally.
Even though David was put in charge of Saul’s army, he “behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him (I Samuel 18:14).”
In college, it is easy to become envious of others and what they have. Financial hardship is pretty common. Some students have to work part-time jobs, do a work study job, or fulfill scholarship requirements while others get to party all weekend, go on lavish Spring Break trips, and so on. Envy can come also from appearance, lack of a romantic partner, and academic success.
I personally found that these things got to me more when my relationship with Christ was weak. That’s why it is important to keep your relationship strong.
DO YOU KEEP YOUR PROMISES OR DO YOU MAKE FALSE COVENANTS?
Sadly, Saul’s sons are killed on the battlefield, including Jonathan who David loved.
God is very clear about His opinions on promises. You are to keep your promises, according to the Bible. Promises in college may include doing a group assignment, being there for a friend in times of need, or committing to a community service project.
ARE YOU FOR THE PEOPLE OR DO YOU BRING OTHERS DOWN WITH YOU?
He makes foolish decisions, gets into battles that he can’t win without the Lord, and loses his sons and his armourbearer and undoubtedly more people along the way.
David had a relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son. He could have used that relationship against Saul to threaten him or otherwise cause harm. That’s what Saul would have done, after all. Instead, David remained a loyal warrior who fought to protect God’s people. He even stayed away from everyone else and traveled alone, undoubtedly because other people would have become targets had they been with David.
However, if you maintain a strong relationship with God as David did, you will see the value in living your life for Christ to be an example to other Christians around you who are struggling in their faith.
I’ve been listening and reading the Bible through my church’s app. It had broken up the reading so that you can read the Bible in a year. Lately, my reading has taken me into the Book of Job.
If you’re a Christian, you’ve likely heard plenty of sermons on the Book of Job. Basically, Job is a righteous man (in a good way) who has a ton of luxuries in life. He has a big family, a ton of land, riches, and cattle. You name it, Job had it.
It was a devastating loss, but Job still praised God. Seeing this, the devil went back to God and told Him that nothing had happened to Job himself (physically), and that’s why he didn’t curse God. God said to the devil that Job was righteous and wouldn’t curse Him, but allowed the devil to bring harm to his body only for Job to still praise God, despite what his wife and friends said of him.
After all of these trials, Job was blessed much more than he was blessed in the beginning. The story is often used as a way to tell Christians to keep the faith in hard times because God will bless them later.
There are so many reasons why this message needs to fall on the ears of millennials and younger people today. I want to share some of those reasons.
1: TIMES ARE TOUGH
I was blessed to have a job right out of college. It paid $11/hr. It was a job in my field of study as a journalist. I went in as a staff reporter. When I left, I had been named a features editor. The entire time I was there, I was never given a raise. I was simply handed more responsibility.
Management refused to clean it up and simply pointed fans at it in hopes of “drying it up.” This caused mold infestation which, I believe, led to illness that sent me to the hospital.
But now, I truly appreciate the circumstances I live in now. Our lights might not work in one room, and one of our toilets might not be working. But it is so much better than it was, and I can only thank God for that.
2: THERE IS MORE OPPOSITION NOW THAN EVER
A new wave of atheism struck the U.S. and around the world. It is fierce. It wants others not to trust it because of the actions and opinions of a few hateful people who I believe shouldn’t call themselves Christians.
In times of hardship, we are always the first people questioned. “Where is your God, now?” “Why isn’t your God helping us through this?” It is the faith of Job that will get us through hard times. God always has a purpose for everything, but that doesn’t mean He caused everything. We are told explicitly in the scriptures that the devil is like a roaring lion, walking about seeking out who he can destroy.
3: TO HELP US SEE OUR SMALL BLESSINGS AS BIG
But I and pretty much everyone in developed countries around the world take it for granted.
Job’s story helps us realize that we should be thankful, even if all we have is life. At least we are breathing. At least we can see the beauty around us. That’s something.
4: TO SHOW US THAT BAD THINGS DON'T ALWAYS COME FROM EDIFICATION
One school of thought is that bad things happen to bad people or people who have done bad. That every bad thing that happens is a punishment from the hand of God. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
That poses the threat of taking their souls from him and directing them toward God. I can’t tell you how many times, at my old church, pastors or leaders would try to insinuate that something happening in our lives was because we weren’t able to come to church on Wednesdays. Yet, some of the most faithful church members would have serious medical conditions fall on them.
No one knows, but it is important that you, the reader, know that your trials may or may not be due to your deeds. It is up to you to use discernment and prayer to find that out!
5: IT HELPS YOU PREPARE FOR THE REST OF LIFE
You now have a full-time job, you may have an apartment or home, you might be married or having children. Either way, you’re just starting life’s journey on your own as an adult.
Reading Job at this age is so important. We comprehend it more when we experience it. While some of us may have lived in the grips of near or full poverty, most of us likely had parents who did their best to make life as good as possible. But now that it is our turn to do that for ourselves or for our own children, we may need some guidance.
Not only can we now understand a bit of what was going on with Job, we can also prepare for life’s future hardships (as they will always come) while we are young. Job was older when he experienced this. He didn’t learn this lesson as a young man. But we can!
HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN
There is a common misconception that there are several ways to get to Heaven when you die. This isn't true. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN.
God is a perfect being who designed each and every one of us. He is sinless, good, and perfect. However, after Eve ate that apple, sin was released into the world and, as a result, everyone was born into sin and everyone does wrong. Only those without sin can enter into Heaven. But don't worry, Jesus came down to Earth and paid your sin debt do you could go to Heaven. Jesus is our salvation and offers us a way to Heaven. A way to live with Him forever. Here is what you have to do: