Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A word for those who are struggling in their faith

Lost and Wandering

A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” 
– James 5:19-20 (NIV)

“Don’t you know by now why the chosen are few? It’s harder to believe than not to.” This line from a Steve Taylor song resonated heavily with me when in college I began to question everything. I was trying to discover who I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life.

What I thought would be a philosophical exercise ended up a multi-year fight for my soul. Not everyone who enters adulthood asks deep questions that end up unraveling them, but all children of believers do face a similar challenge, taking the faith of their parents and culture and turning it into a real, saving faith of their own. It’s in that struggle that many end up lost.

Suffering is another test that separates churchgoers from believers with a saving faith. There are folks who show up every Sunday, go to all the meetings, sing all the hymns, do all the right things, but their hearts are still untouched. Then a loss, a sickness, a hit of some kind blows their life up. If they never truly repented and put their faith and trust in Jesus, then their faith can’t sustain them and they lose their way. They think God has abandoned them when they never really let Him in to begin with.

It’s not always a dramatic event either. Sometimes it is years of doubts that have been left to ruminate. It becomes easier to think of church as a building where you go if you’re a good person and not, instead, a group of people united by faith that should feed your soul or hold you accountable. People let church become a social club, a place to belong to, and over time, it becomes less important, less vital until it’s virtually meaningless.

It’s up to us to spot folks in our midst who are struggling or those who seem to be wandering. In our church families, we need to hold each other accountable, to check in with each other. We need to be real with those around us and not content to assume that just because someone is in a pew on Sunday morning that what they truly believe constitutes a saving faith. And for those that we can see wandering, we must be brave and seek them out. Have those tough conversations because it’s life and death. 

Grace truly does cover a multitude of sins and no one is beyond the mercy of God, but we’ve got to tell them that. People can hear a sermon in church every weekend and still not understand the Gospel.

God has placed us on earth to reach out to the lost and wandering and share with them the life-changing, earth-shattering truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be bold, friends.

Author Bio:
Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction.

A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at

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