This week for my New Testament reading, I found a scripture in 1 Corinthians that really stood out to me. It's 1 Corinthians 16:13 "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." What I got out of that scripture is that if we stand fast in our faith in Christ, then we will be strong. I have never really struggled with my testimony of Christ, but I have recently struggled a little in my faith. To me, struggling in my faith wasn't doubting but more having a hard time seeing that God still had a plan for me and that everything will work out in the end. One of my favorite paintings of Christ is by the artist Greg Olsen titled "Let Him In". It is a painting of Christ knocking on a door without a knob. One reason why I love this painting is because it reminds me that Christ is there waiting for me to open the door to Him.
One thing that I have found that has helped me to strengthen my faith is to follow the "primary answers" that I would always hear about growing up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those not familiar with that term, "primary answers" are: going to church, pray, read/study the scriptures daily, etc. I find when I do at least those three things, I am stronger in my faith and my testimony. One thing that helps me when I am at church is to write notes during sacrament meeting. Otherwise, I tend to loose my focus to what is being taught. Most nights, I cannot fall asleep without saying my prayers. I feel closer to God and Christ when I say meaningful prayers and not just repeating things everyday. When I don't read my scriptures everyday, those are the days that I struggle the most with.
Another favorite painting of mine is by the artist, Simon Dewey titled "Lead, Kindly Light". Earlier this year, I bought a print and mat at Deseret Book. Then I bought a frame from Hobby Lobby. I now have this painting in my bedroom to help me to remember Christ in my life daily. Light is often compared to faith. In the painting, Christ is holding a little light and inviting you with His other hand. This painting makes me think of the 10 Virgin parable in the New Testament. So often we let our faith fade because we are distracted with the "things of the world" or the craziness of our lives. This painting reminds me that Christ is there waiting for me to follow in His path. It's not always easy to follow in the footsteps of Christ, but as we follow the "primary answers" we will become stronger in our faith. I know this to be true.
I hope you enjoy this video from Mormon Messages titled Mountains to Climb. It is about overcoming mountains/struggles in our life. (I have attached the link to the video in case the video doesn't work.) Everyone has different trail/struggles to go through in life, but as we stay close to Christ and work on our faith in Him, we can overcome them with faith. It's important to remember that just because someone else's trail/struggle is different than yours, does not make it less important.
**The links to the paintings is so that you can see what the painting looks like. You do not need to purchase anything from the sites. Because of copyright laws, I wasn't sure if I could post the pictures of the paintings on my blog.