Not everyone is going to like you. You could be the nicest, kindest person in class or at work, but there will still be at least one person who won't appreciate you. If you make it apparent for example that you're a Christian some may take offense to that. Some simply take offense at seeing the Cross. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by opposition when you just want to stand firm and make peace at the same time.
Still, while it can be overwhelming dealing with others, often it's ourselves that prove the most threatening.
Many Christians wonder if they've committed some sin that God will not forgive. Some passages like this one make apparent that there is a sin He won't forgive, "...but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." Many after doing something which sounds like that, (cursing God, denying or rejecting Christ/the Holy Spirit, attributing Him to evil) think that they "lost their salvation." And what is a worst feeling than that? In the last month I've been dealing with a lot of bad thoughts regarding my Christian faith. Many occurrences I thought God had given up on me. But, it took some time to realize that can never happen.
You see, the reason why Jesus says a person will not be forgiven is because overtime a person after so violently opposes God's free gift, the Holy Spirit will stop convicting them. It's not because God rejects them, but because they've made it their personal decision to harden their heart, never once receiving Christ. Did you catch that? If you've already accepted the gift, you've "passed from death to life." And Jesus is the one who holds you in His hand. This means that no matter how bad one gets, salvation can't be lost. Think back, almost every believer has a salvation day. (Maybe you grew up in a Christian home but never actually personally gave your life to Christ, then there's a good chance you aren't saved, so say that prayer now!) At that moment in time you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, "a guaranteed inheritance." Nowhere does it say we ourselves can break that seal...and how could we? It's the seal of God. Look at it like this: Jesus died on the cross for everyone. Our condition then is to "Believe on it" and receive the gift. This gift is "irrevocable" for the truly born again.
This is why sermons and Christian friends make it apparent to others to ask Christ to become their savior now, because it can be too late tomorrow.
Alright, so now that we've established that no born again Christian ever has to worry about losing their Savior, we can then look at ways to overcome and avoid spiritual emptiness when it comes, because it comes to everybody. Too often we become our own enemy when neglecting these things.
Adequate Sleep, Diet, and Exercise.
These are somethings your nutritionist will tell you, but I don't think many realize how vital these things are spiritually. For example, I find when I get anything less than 6 hours rest I can't think properly the next day and end up being exhausted by the afternoon. When one can't think properly, they're easily influenced by outside forces. A proper diet is also basically the same thing. If you aren't eating well enough, it can leave you feeling weak and depressed. It's the same withe exercise. If you're like me and on the computer a lot, you need to make sure you're spending at least 15 minutes on the treadmill, riding your bike, or going for a walk.
Trust me, do these things well and you will yourself becoming stronger not only physically, but spiritually as well.
Church & Bible Study groups!
Now, while church service is important, I don't think many would put youth or Bible study groups in the same league, which I think is unfortunate. Listening to the pastor is always fantastic, but there's something far more personal in groups. Friendships are made. The New Testament makes it clear that it's important to have fellowship with brothers & sisters in Christ. If you're a highschooler, get involved in the youth group. If you're a college student or young adult, get involved in the young adult group. Not all churches have groups for everyone, but if yours does, why not get involved?
Almost every highschooler to young adult has an iPod or iPhone. Movies and books are major mediums, but in today's day and age I think it's fair to say that music is probably the most popular form of media with the younger crowd. Many spend at least an hour a day listening to their favorite songs. Ask yourself: What am I listening to? Is it wholesome? Would I want the whole family to listen to it while riding in the car?
Awhile back at my youth group the pastor did a series on music and its impact. It was then that I realized many of the songs I was listening to had some not so great lyrics. These type of songs can creep up on us, because we like the beat so much that we don't realize what it's doing internally. Some songs can make us feel unnecessarily depressed, give us bad thoughts, etc.
Fill yourself with Christian music. Now, this doesn't mean every song has to be a traditional worship one. For example, while Casting Crowns is a fantastic band, many young people might find their more traditional type of singing rather "old school." A common misconception is that Christian music is usually emotional in tone or overly preachy. Bands like Kutless and 33 Miles are examples that produces songs teens and college students can readily relate to. RED is another band which sadly many Christians don't know about. Give them a try, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Continually filling yourself with Christian music will help fight off spiritual depression.
Prayer & Reading the Bible
These two are obvious. Many of us neglect prayer, only doing it when we need something. It's the same with the Bible. It's always there, and we know we should read it, but don't since everything else is apparently more important. I was like this for many years. After becoming saved, I should have been growing spiritually, but I neglected two of the most important things in sanctification. I look back and wish I had done those two things consistently, because I would have been better prepared to deal with spiritual problems in the present. Nonetheless, it's never too late to start. Set aside Bible reading every night and the morning, same with prayer.
We become a threat to ourselves when we don't seek to grow spiritually. Look at it like this: Once we become saved we're citizens of Heaven. The war is already won. But we can still lose many, many battles here. We can lose joy and a sense of direction when we try to reject the Spirit Who lives within us. If we don't grow spiritually now, we won't be able to handle problems adequately, whether external or internal. Our minds become weak, and I can speak with clarity that it's hard to function with a weak mind.
So, continue to seek God. Remember, no matter what bad thing or thought you had five minutes or two weeks ago, it didn't change your status. Don't let that hinder you. Just because you don't feel like a Christian doesn't mean you're not. We become our own worst enemy by thinking up crazy things in our heads, believing them, and then trying to go forward on our own. Ask God for help, and He will. And then, put everything listed above into practice. For the born again, life never ends. So get back up, and start again today.