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The apostle Paul told Timothy to lead a Christian life by pursuing “righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:11-12, NLT).

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Stuart Briscoe has often told the story of asking someone what they do, only to hear the reply, “I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ cleverly disguised as a stockbroker.” The point of the story is that “disciple” should be our primary profession. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are promising to make Him our teacher, our guide, our example. 

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From the word disciple we get the word discipline, and spiritual disciplines are practices that we incorporate into our lives to become more like Jesus. They include, among others, Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship, sharing our faith and serving others. Making those habits part of our daily life is what helps us maintain our walk with Jesus even when life throws us curveballs. 

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When you face personal challenges, unexpected transitions or other disappointments, you may find yourself drifting away from Jesus or having doubts about your faith. There may be times when you are challenged by unanswered prayers, difficult relationships, health issues, or personal tragedies. You may feel overwhelmed by worry, stress, or fear.

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But just as heat and pressure can turn carbon into diamonds, God can turn our difficulties into sparkling jewels that reflect His light and bring Him glory. As Paul wrote to the Roman church, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Rom. 5:3-5, NLT).

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The Christian life is not always easy. We may find ourselves at odds with the culture around us. We may even be disappointed by fellow Christians. And just like Jesus’ first disciples, we make mistakes; our sinful nature gets in the way of our best intentions. If you find yourself getting off track, take assessment of your spiritual health. Maybe you need to make time for soul care, to regain your life balance, or to find joy and purpose again.

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Just Between Us (JBU) wants to walk alongside you. We’ve compiled some resources to encourage you in your Christian life. Whether you have questions about living out your faith in a culture that often clashes with Christianity or you’re having feelings that don’t align with what you think a Christian should be experiencing, we want to help you in your walk with Jesus. As you peruse some of these articles, we think you’ll find hope, healing and help for your weary soul.