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What is inductive Bible study?- YWAM Asheville

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What is Inductive Bible Study? 

Introduction 

Studying the Bible is a gift and a blessing within the Christian life. In my life, being given the tools I needed to digest the Bible for myself made an impact I can barely put into words. The Bible can be difficult to approach, confusing and intimidating people into complacency towards it. Unfortunately, it seems like most Christians are unaware of the many tools and methods available to make Bible study not only accessible but transformational. The Inductive Bible Study method showed me that understanding the scriptures is not, as I had assumed, beyond my grasp. It taught me that God’s Word is timelessly relevant, deeply informative, and indeed, Good News. 

Purpose and Goal of Inductive Bible Study 

Every Bible study method will serve a different purpose and aim at a different goal. Some methods seek to collect data and categorize topics. Some serve as meditation and reflection tools. The Inductive Method is a little of both. It combines the scholastic need for information with the active voice of the Holy Spirit, allowing the breath of God to fill the student with well 

informed, timeless, transformative truths. 

As a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) student, I was first introduced to this method of Bible Study in my Discipleship Training School (DTS). During the DTS lecture phase, Bible Overview gave me a new appreciation for the Book I had always felt weary of. Instead of feeling guilt, anxiety, and confusion, I began to feel curiosity, amazement, and awe. 

The purpose of Inductive Bible Study is to allow the reader to use pertaining historical and cultural context (inside and outside of the text), to illuminate the author’s intent for the passage being studied so that the reader can make educated interpretations, appropriate conclusions, and finally, meaningful applications. Every student of the Inductive method will tell you that the goal is always application. If we do not allow our studies to produce actionable avenues of growth within us, we are not allowing our hearts to engage with the Bible fully. The Bible is, of course, a vast collection of intellectual concepts, conversations, and ideas. But, at its core, it is the primary vessel through which God continues to reveal who He is to His people. It’s meant to be a relational, interactive, communal, and personal means to grow closer in likeness to Christ – and draw us into a deeper abiding with His Spirit. 

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I appreciate what LaRosa Johnson writes in his article on the topic. He writes, “A large part of understanding the Bible rightly requires looking at it through the proper lenses. Unlike many books we read today, the Bible is old, a compilation of many writings, and a religious book. As

such, we must remember all those things when we study the Bible. In addition, each facet plays a key role in the right interpretation of Scripture. 

First, the Bible is a historical book. It is several thousand years old and was written over centuries. This means we cannot approach it like a book written in the 21st Century. There is a different cultures and backgrounds we must keep in mind when we study. The Bible’s authors wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine (common) Greek. Each language is old and requires translation into modern vernacular. We must keep this in mind when studying. Second, the Bible contains many different literary genres. We cannot read each book of the Bible the same way. Scripture contains history, prophecy, letters, apocalyptic literature, poetry, and so on. Each passage needs to be read and understood based on its given genre, which, in turn, affects how we interpret it. 

Finally, we must understand that it is a theological book. God wrote and teaches us about himself in the Bible. This is another fact we cannot ignore in our interpretation.”

Steps of Inductive Bible Study 

 

1. The first step of Inductive Bible study is prayer. We ask God to give us the ability to take off the lenses we wear that cloud our vision, skew our perspective, and lead us toward partiality. We ask that He lead us, open our eyes, ears, and heart and that we would yield to His Lordship in the process. We want to approach the Bible with as little bias, preconceived notions, and other hindrances as possible. 

2. Next, we read the entirety of the book we are reading, if possible, in one sitting, out loud. When we read the whole book out loud, in one go, our brains can absorb more of what we are reading. 

3. Then, once we have completed one reading of the book, we read through it again. But this time, we are reading to make observations. We are making a note of things like who, where, and when, as well as literary tools like lists, metaphors, and figures of speech…we notice promises, commands, questions, repeated words, key ideas, parables, and genealogies..and we physically mark them on the paper we are reading from. Most Inductive Students will make their own “legend” that allows them to mark up their text with their own symbols. For example, my mark for a promise is a yellow star. My mark for a figure of speech is a purple triangle. This stage of study is meant to get you to slow down, notice what is happening in the text, and warm up your brain to start asking questions. 

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4. From these observations, we can begin to ask questions. This is where the CONTEXT of the book comes into play. You will want to have a good handle on these things before drawing ANY conclusions about what you have read:

What type of literature is it? 

Who wrote it? 

When did they write it? 

Who did they write it to? 

Was it happening at this point in history? 

What was the political, religious, and cultural setting? 

This contextual information will guide you as you ask questions. You can find contextual information in a variety of places. A few of my favorites are: 

5. Now that you have asked some educated questions, begin to use the contextual information you’ve gathered to make interpretations…AKA: answer your own questions using the information you’ve gathered. Can you see what the author was trying to communicate? Given their circumstances, what might the audience/reader have needed to hear? What are the implications of this passage to those originally involved?

6. You’ve read the book in its entirety, made observations, gotten some basic context, and asked and answered educated questions..now you can draw some conclusions. Time to come up with some TIMELESS TRUTHS. You can pull these truths from your interpretations that remain true for all kinds of people throughout all of time. 

For example, “God is not limited to man’s methods” is a timeless truth. It is true no matter who you are, where, or when. 

7. Lastly, and most importantly, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to a pertinent APPLICATION of this truth in your life, or the life of the contemporary reader. Using the example above, a personal application of this may be trusting that God can solve the issue you are facing using methods you know nothing about. Trusting that God knows a way through even when you see no options with your human capacities.

Youth with a Mission, Asheville

Inductive Bible Study at YWAM Asheville 

During the Discipleship Training School, students are given a whole week to go through the Bible. Bible Overview is built into the YWAM DTS curriculum. This week gives students a chance to look at the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, and it is often taught from an Inductive perspective. Other YWAM courses are dedicated to teaching students the Inductive method, such as the School of Biblical Studies and the Bible Core Course. Here in Asheville, YWAM values giving DTS students a basic understanding of Inductive Bible Study so they can become users of the method in their own lives. Students are also invited to return for the Foundational Leadership Course where they will be given even further training and education on Inductive Bible Study. 

Conclusion 

I saw a recent post on Twitter from a fitness account that said, “Strength training will make every other problem you have easier to solve.” I would argue that the same could be said about Bible Study. The more you engage with God’s voice, doing the heavy lifting of observation, interpretation, and application, you will find that life’s problems are brought into perspective; an eternal perspective.

The Importance of Discipleship and Why It Matters

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The Importance of Discipleship and Why It Matters

 

Introduction 

Discipleship is a crucial part of the Christian walk. Not only are we called to be discipled by the Holy Spirit; we are called to disciple and be discipled by the body of Christ. So what does discipleship mean anyways? In the Christian sense, discipleship is just a word for the process of becoming like Christ. Our aim as Christians should be to mirror Jesus in every aspect of our lives. 

In John 8 verses 31 through 32, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” We must press into discipleship so that we are truly holding to the teachings of Jesus and through living out His teachings, we will be set free. Furthermore, in Matthew 28 verse 19, Jesus commands us to, “go and make disciples of all nations.” This statement is monumental for the kingdom of God and makes it clear that it is impossible to be a true follower of Jesus outside of discipleship. 

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Why discipleship matters 

It can be tempting to do life alone, but this was never God’s intention for the church. We are a body! Each church member is necessary and needed for us to function properly. The Lord often speaks to us through other believers and we hurt ourselves by not actively being a part of the community He designed for us. Whether it’s a word of encouragement or a loving correction, allowing others to speak into our lives is life-giving. Being discipled by other believers requires humility and vulnerability, but the reward always outweighs the cost. 

One huge aspect of leaning into the vulnerability of discipleship is accountability. As the Holy Spirit takes us from glory to glory, it is our job to do the practical work of putting off all of the things that hinder us. This is always easier said than done. Having someone we trust walking alongside us is crucial to walking in freedom in every area of our lives. In James 5 verse 

16 the Bible says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Discipleship and vulnerability not only bring healing, but they silence the lies of the enemy. It is so easy to be suffocated by the shame and weight of sins we can’t seem to escape, and accountability helps us walk in the reality of the freedom Jesus has won for us. 

Growing in spiritual maturity is no accident. Being discipled by the Holy Spirit and by other believers is a life-long journey of being fashioned into who the Creator always intended for us to be. As the Holy Spirit continues to refine us, we have the choice to lean in or reject His leadership. Whether it’s in our thought life, our worldview, or the way we love those around us, the work of sanctification is never complete. As followers of Jesus, it is important that we are aware of the areas where we aren’t completely aligned with Him and be willing to allow Him and others to help us along the journey. A decision to lean in will always lead to more freedom and growing intimacy with the Lover of our souls.

 

Youth with a Mission, Asheville

Discipleship In YWAM 

YWAM focuses heavily on discipleship and the call to make disciples of all nations. Though every YWAM location differs in its specific ministries, we are united in our value for discipleship. During a discipleship training school (DTS) at YWAM Asheville, you have access to a community committed to pushing you towards Jesus and a one-on-one mentor to help you process and walk through the deeper topics brought up during school. The curriculum of DTS is full of topics devoted to shaping you into the image of Jesus with everything from identity to Lordship. We believe in honoring the Lord while honoring individuals and refuse to separate truth from love. You can expect to find a community of individuals who will see you and love you as Jesus does to the best of our ability. 

Discipleship takes commitment but is absolutely necessary to become more and more like our Savior. It is not only an invitation into all the Lord has for us, but a commandment to become as He is. As we lean into the beauty of the refining process, we will find life and freedom. Discipleship invites us into a community of believers, a safe place to be vulnerable and receive accountability, and an increasing intimacy with the Holy Spirit. The Lord is faithful to complete the work He has started in each of us, but He is never forceful. May we choose discipleship in every season and trust that His ways are higher than our own for it is for freedom that He has set us free.

5 Reasons to do a DTS – YWAM Asheville

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5 Reasons to do a DTS

Introduction 

So you might be thinking about applying for a YWAM DTS, or maybe you already have. You might also be thinking, “God has called me, but what am I getting myself into?” That’s totally valid, and there is so much to look forward to when applying to your Discipleship Training School.
 

YWAM’s motto is To Know God and Make God Known. Our entire foundation is built upon those words. That is our ultimate goal here is to make sure each person has a deep, personal relationship with God and to evangelize, starting with the one. But there is SO much more that comes out of a DTS than that– and here are just a few that I could think of. 

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Reasons To Do A YWAM DTS 

 

1. Learn More About Other Nations and Cultures 

No matter where your DTS location or Outreach is, you’ll learn more about where you’re at and the people around you. Even I, who is from a small town right outside of Asheville and would visit Asheville frequently as a teenager, came to do my DTS at YWAM Asheville, and it really blew my mind how much I didn’t see in Asheville even though it was right in front of my eyes.

At DTS, you’ll learn how to get down and dirty and place yourself behind the scenes of wherever you’re at, you will also learn how to slow down and really see people as Jesus does instead of just glancing over the surface of the world. YWAM is full of diversity so you’ll live with other students and staff from all different cultures and backgrounds. 

2. Expand Your Knowledge of the Bible 

We get it, sometimes, when you explore the Bible on your own, it’s really difficult to understand. There are areas that seem intimidating and you don’t want to touch in fear of not being intelligent enough to understand. No worries! Our DTS curriculum is full of helpful ways and tools to help you better understand the Word.

We have an entire week dedicated to Biblical Overview, this week gives a simple, easy to follow, and enjoyable deep dive into the Bible. Students always say that this week is especially helpful in their faith journey. It opens your eyes to new things, and brings you to a higher level of understanding! 

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3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone 

It’s easy to keep your relationship with Jesus between you and Him. However, that’s not what God intended. He has called you to go out and make disciples, and that can’t happen if you’re not willing to do things that make you uncomfortable. As Christians, we’re not only called to be okay with discomfort but to seek it. Requirements of DTS include being flexible and willing to die to yourself and the comforts of your flesh. In your Discipleship Training, you’ll learn how to have the confidence in evangelism, spreading love, and preaching the gospel to every tribe, tongue and soul – you just have to ask yourself, is Jesus worth any awkwardness, criticism or judgment you may encounter? (The answer is, “heck yeah, He is.”) 

4. Grow deep, real connections with other Jesus lovers 

Being a Christian is hard, but being a Christian without a supportive community that shares your love, values, and beliefs is even harder. So here at YWAM, we are all about community, coming together from different cultures. Our hope is that you come and feel at home with the people around you. You deserve to feel loved, cherished, and worthy. Everyone who comes to DTS is so different yet we all have one thing in common: We love Jesus. 

5. Become a New Creation 

In Galatians 6, Paul talks about how religion, circumcision and all that other stuff don’t really matter, but what’s most important is whether or not we have become a New Creation. Meaning, we let our old selves die and allowed the Lord to transform us and make us new, pure, holy, and whole. This is the main reason I chose to do DTS. You might have a rough past and are new to Faith and Jesus and everything. You might have unprocessed with trauma, pain and shame. Or maybe you have just never known the Lord as your own Father, Friend, Counselor, etc. Whatever your story is, the Lord can redeem it. Whoever you are, you can grow even more. He wants to give you freedom. A YWAM DTS is a great place to start that process. 

 

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Conclusion 

It’s so hard to capture the essence of everything you’ll experience in your DTS- but trust me when I say that whatever the reason is that you’re doing a DTS, the Lord can do abundantly more than you can ask, think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

We call DTS the pressure cooker for your faith, and after those five months you will leave with so much more knowledge, wisdom, passion, and excitement for life. If you believe that God is worth 5 months of your life, then surrender to Him and allow Him to show you what He’s capable of. This is just a starting point. Let Jesus take you on an adventure and apply for a DTS today.

Why Your Thought Life Matters – YWAM Asheville

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Why Your Thought Life Matters 

Introduction 

We live in a culture that seems to have double standards when it comes to thought life. What we think, our own mind has become a marketable field, another area for business and cultural agendas to acquire. We frequently get bombarded with ads and app suggestions that promote decreasing mind clutter, engaging in meditation and centering practices, and slowing down during the day. Embracing “mindfulness” is very trendy right now. There are online services and communities dedicated to helping humans relax their minds, declutter their brains, and clean mental space. Yet, on the other hand, there is seemingly very little discussion about putting checks and balances on what we are actually thinking about. As long as your thoughts are authentic, “true to you”, and bring you pleasure…the current American culture celebrates it. Putting limits on our thought life might even be seen as oppressive. Self-fulfillment and actualization is a top priority, therefore, the self should be able to think whatever it wants, right? So…as long as the self is being prioritized, actualized, and expressed…no thought is off the table. That’s supposed to create a mental oasis? 

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Why thought life matters 

If this is the case, how do we account for the fact that an American dies by suicide every 12 seconds? Why is depression the number one cause of disability among working-age Americans? Why is suicide the second highest cause of death in young Americans? These issues are complex and involve so many different factors. But the quality and nature of an average American thought life must be seriously considered when analyzing these grim mental health statistics. 

The problem is that apps, minimalism, mindfulness tips, and mid-day stretch breaks aren’t going to renew our minds. These tools are helpful, to an extent…but the health of your mind is only as healthy as the thoughts you’re thinking are. These tools aren’t going to release us from damaging messages that thrive and grow in unhealthy minds. These tools simply don’t have the power to break the chains of darkness we allow to take root in our thoughts when they are given free range; unchecked and unhindered. Project “self-fulfillment and actualization” is a dangerous and empty delusion. We need a better strategy.

Your thoughts plant a garden 

Scripture has a lot to say about our thought lives as Christians. It’s discussed multiple times throughout the Bible to a variety of audiences in different cultures and time periods. This tells me that the human mind has always been vulnerable and that God has always cared about it. 

Garden imagery is all over the Bible, and it’s one of my favorite metaphors to return to. If we think of our mind as a garden, we can quickly recognize that labor and intentionality are required for growth. Left to itself, a garden may grow but be hindered by invasive species, wildlife, and overgrowth. 

An attentive gardener knows he needs to fertilize, till, and nurture the soil. He plants seeds at the right time, depth and distance. He waters, prunes, and shapes. He may set up fencing to keep out especially harmful critters and uses whatever means necessary to protect the life he is creating. 

Our thoughts are the garden of our life. In order to produce the life we intend, we must take our role as farmers seriously. Keeping a garden healthy requires both offensive and defensive measures. Letting our minds wander into whatever thoughts it pleases is like letting a garden go untended. 

My thought life was first challenged during my Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Until that point, I had assumed that my thought life was my own, and I had the right to let my mind explore any and every corner of possibility. There is a common saying in YWAM that addresses this assumption perfectly. “Relinquishing my rights” means that when I said yes to life in Jesus, I also said yes to death in Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus means that I sacrificially lay down every perceived right I think I have in order to find abundant life through Him. And what I have discovered in my own walk with the Lord is that what once looked like death to me now looks like freedom. Placing limits on my thought life hasn’t been oppressive, it has been liberating. 

You are what you think 

So, where do you start? Great question. As we already discussed, the tools that our current culture offers are helpful but only to an extent. Getting your thought life into a healthy space takes work, commitment, accountability, and time. 

  • The first place I would suggest looking is the Bible. There really is something miraculous about spending time in God’s word…it cleanses us as we consume it. Even if you don’t really understand what you’re reading, getting in the habit of exploring the Bible will act as tilling and fertilizing your soil.
  • Another thing to consider is your community. Are the people in your life encouraging you to improve your thought life, or are they part of the problem? Until you’re a more experienced “farmer”, you may need to surround yourself with safe people and limit your time with those who might invade and damage the garden you are trying to grow. In time, you may be able to invite them back into your life when your garden is strong enough to handle a few foxes. 
  • As you surround yourself with the right people, invite them to keep you accountable. Ask them to lovingly call you out when they see you mistreating your garden. Consider letting a mentor, therapist, or trustworthy friend into your garden to help you in the process. 
  • Last but not least, you’ll need grace. You will fail, and you will have difficult mental seasons. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the process. The Holy Spirit is the project manager of your sanctification, and He’s your number 1 fan. Let Him lead you and sustain you as you farm your garden together. 
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Consider a DTS 

Are you ready to get your thought life in order? Consider joining us for our next Discipleship Training School here at YWAM Asheville! YWAM values teaching its students practical and transformational life rhythms that allow Jesus to be Lord of our thoughts. YWAM training, courses, and curriculums are designed to give you the tools you need to tend to your garden successfully for the rest of your life. Wherever you do your DTS, please know that the best YWAM DTS location for you is the one that the Lord leads you to. Don’t just look for the cheapest DTS, let the Holy Spirit guide you in making that decision. Have questions? Let us know! A DTS coach would love to discuss any questions you might have. A YWAM DTS is the perfect place to get the right community around you, get focused on scripture, and have grace-filled accountability!

Discipleship – A Journey of Purpose and Belonging

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Discipleship – A Journey of Purpose and Belonging 

Discipleship – what is it? 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 

Jesus told his followers to “make disciples” but what does that really mean? Often this verse is not fully understood, and Christians assume that Jesus is talking about converts. That is only part of what Jesus means. To be a disciple means to model and center your whole life around something or someone. When Jesus told his followers to make disciples, he asked them to make more of themselves. People who will trust, obey, and worship him with their lives at any cost. People who will live according to His Kingdom, not the ways of the world. Conversion is important. But discipleship is what follows conversion, not the other way around. 

“In Biblical times, a disciple referred to anyone studying under and trying to emulate, a valued teacher. To modern day Christians, it means a follower of Christ who leads by following his example. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another.” Discipleship is a process of not only holding onto your faith but growing in it so that you may lead others toward Christ.” 

 

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Engaging in discipleship 

Discipleship means to be endlessly learning and growing in the Spirit while at the same time teaching others what we have learned and helping them grow. It is a continuous

process in that we all learn and grow together. Discipleship training at Youth With A Mission is one of the best ways to do that. A YWAM Discipleship Training School will equip you to become a lifelong learner and leader who knows how to hear the voice of God and knows His purposes for your life. This version of discipleship is costly, is lifelong, and is a much more accurate understanding of what Jesus meant. 

“The “show business,” which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from Our Lord’s conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes.” 

― Oswald Chambers 

Make no mistake, the life of a disciple is not always easy. But for every cost that must be counted, there are a thousand blessings that take its place. The peace that comes from the right relationship with God and man is beyond comparison. The joy that comes from belonging to a group of believers who love and champion you is a picture of heaven on earth. The easy yoke of Christ is an inheritance no worldly thing could compete with. 

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Discipleship in YWAM 

Youth With A Mission takes discipleship seriously. Training young people in the ways of Jesus is our passion. We love walking with them in their faith journey, inviting them to belong to the community, empowering them as gospel ambassadors, and sending them as missionaries into the nations. 

Part of discipleship in YWAM includes intentional one-on-one conversations. This allows us to invite outside perspective and accountability into our lives. This relational model of discipleship creates community and fosters trust in each other. Discipleship helps believers grow in their faith, to grow in maturity and wisdom, and build their faith on a strong foundation. 

“You will know as much of God, and only as much of God, as you are willing to put into practice.” 

― Eric Liddell, The Disciplines Of The Christian Life

Take that step. Discipleship in your life is up to you. Don’t wait for that perfect leader to find you. Go out and find a community of people you will trust with your life, and chase after a Jesus-honoring life together. 

You can sign up for a Discipleship Training School with YWAM Asheville for free, in just 3 minutes. The only DTS requirements are a high school diploma, a willing heart, and an open mind.

How To Rely on Your Faith in Hard Times – YWAM Asheville

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How To Rely On Your Faith In Hard Times

 by Zach Barber 

 

 

Introduction 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Charles Dickens in his novel A Tale of Two Cities. I feel there is no better summary of life than this quote. We wake up with breath in our lungs, feeling the warm rushing water of a shower, and making a fresh pot of coffee to get ready for the day. Relying on our faith comes easy. Then before you take that first sip, you get interrupted with a phone call informing you that a beloved friend has passed away. That same 

bright day has just turned into a dark nightmare. Suddenly, relying on your faith becomes next to impossible. Let’s take a closer look at how to rely on your faith in hard times. 

About Faith 

A normal human question that we have all probably asked at least once is “If God is good, then why do bad things happen?” Anytime I’m asked or pondered this question, my mind always goes to 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” For those of us who call ourselves sons and daughters of God, there is this giant target on our back that Satan is aiming for because we are a threat to his mission.

Therefore, the harsh reality is that we are going to face hard times in our walk of life. The question is, what do we do when we face these trials? The next verse says that we are to “Resist him, steadfast in the faith”. To truly resist Satan, we need to hold fast to our faith. To do this effectively, we first need to know what faith is. 

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Perspective & Faith 

The best definition of faith we see in the Bible is Hebrews 11: 1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Romans 8:24 clarifies that “hope that is seen is not hope”. So when we hope for something, we put our hope in something we have not seen yet. Therefore, faith is putting our hope in something we don’t see. When we are faced with hard times then, we need to shift our focus off the current situation, and fix our eyes on the hope we have in Jesus, eternal life. 

This change in perspective does not mean that we ignore the situation. If we do that, we are not solving anything. Rather, we are suppressing emotions and feelings and storing them for later. When we continue to do this over time, these feelings then boil over in an uncontrollable outburst of emotion that detracts from the witness of God, which is what Satan wants.

Rather, when we shift our perspective, we are remembering our eternal destination and the overwhelming joy that we will experience once we get there. This eternal perspective gives us hope, which can then translate into the courage to face this trial head on. It will not be easy, but with an eternal perspective, we realize this earthly pain is not only temporary but is nothing compared to the immeasurable joy we will feel once we get to Heaven.

Practices That Feed Faith 

Practicing faith is easier said than done. I do not know where you are at in your walk with God, but whether or not faith is your spiritual strength, there are things you can do that can help build your faith when trials come.

The first one I would recommend is reading in the word, specifically stories of people facing and overcoming trials. Read the story of a young shepherd named David who slayed a giant with a single stone. Also the story of Paul and Silas who were thrown in jail, but because of their faith, were singing and praying to God despite their circumstance, when all of a sudden the prison doors were open and the chains were loosened. No better motivation can come from reading these stories and seeing God’s faithfulness. 

The second practice I recommend is praying and asking God for faith. During hard times, praying can be the last thing you want to do, but it is essential. Jesus says in Matthew 7 that if we ask it shall be given to you. If you struggle with faith, why not ask Him for a strong faith? His answer might not be what you want or not what you expect, but if you don’t ask at all, nothing will be given. 

The third practice is to try to keep a thankfulness journal. Write down what you are thankful for, and when a trial comes, go back to it and be strengthened by God’s past faithfulness, knowing He will be faithful again. 

Lastly, I go back to 1 Peter 5 where in verse 7 the author says for us to cast all our care on God, because He cares for us. Let anything that has or is weighing you down rest on God. Write it down and bring it to Him in prayer, knowing that He will hear and take it from you. 

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Support Systems 

It is vital to know and embrace that leaning on your faith, especially during hard times, requires community. Here at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Asheville, we highly value community because we see how fundamental it is to the Christian life. If you do not belong to a faith family, a small group, or a close group of friends, relying on Jesus can feel too tall of an order. But when there are others who are able to come alongside you, lift you up, carry some of the burdens, and carry you when you are too weak, we are able to keep putting one step in front of the other.

A YWAM DTS (Discipleship Training School) is a perfect atmosphere to build community, understand what Christ-centered support systems look like, and experience just how life-giving a healthy community can be! The only YWAM DTS requirements are the completion of high school (or GED), and a heart that is ready to say yes to all the Lord has! The best YWAM DTS locations are the ones you feel called to in prayer, so don’t choose a DTS location just because it’s the cheapest YWAM DTS. Make sure it’s where the Lord is calling you!

 

Conclusion 

I want to conclude by saying that during trials should not be the only time we are clinging to our faith. If we are in a season where everything in life is good, and we relax and rely on ourselves, when a trial comes it will be much harder to cling to our faith because we have loosened our grip. Hold on tight to your faith, especially on the mountain tops. Then, when a storm comes, we will be ready.