Keep The Light of Your Faith Burning

by Andrew Lamont

There are sacred blessings to be found in reading your scriptures, especially when trials are on quick-fire, and you don't understand what's going on.

Recently, overwhelmed with struggles and trials coming my way, I was deflated in my mortal journey. Truth be told, I didn't know what was going on; I didn't understand why God would allow so many things to happen, in such a short period of time.

My prayers became stumped and robotic, offered out of obligatory routine. My scripture reading became short and fleeting. I wasn't off the covenant path, but I wasn't moving forward either. Any sort of gospel living was more a case of going through the motions, resentfully in a couple instances. By the end of one week, I wanted a break from church.

However, it was on that same day that I came across a scripture in the Old Testament which changed my myopic perspective on the situation.

One of the marks of a true Christian is a target from the adversary. There are times in life when it's clear he's putting extra effort into destroying us, to push us or drag us off the covenant path. Jeremiah 20:9 says, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

At this point in his life, Jeremiah was enduring intense and unrelenting struggle and opposition. Day and night, he was scorned and mocked. He was beaten. He was put in the stocks. So extreme was his pain and torment that he wanted to hang up his mantle of Prophet of God, never speak of Him again, never prophesy nor preach of Him again. He wanted to give up.

The adversary threw everything he could at the prophet. There will be, and possibly have been times in your life he’s done that. Being tossed on the sea of adversity can be an isolating and overwhelming experience, one seasoned with doubts and loneliness, fear and confusion. However, when Lucifer throws everything he has at us and we, in turn, lay everything we have at the foot of the Saviour, He will uplift us and strengthen us, and surround us with Heavenly angels, as well as angelic mortal messengers to bear us up.

Though driven to the brink of despair because of his anguish, because of the testimony the prophet had of God, the word burned in his heart, an un-extinguishable flame which overpowered doubts and dismays and discouragement, to the point he could not stay silent. Come what may, what he knew was more important than the opposition he faced. The same is true for us. Jeremiah pressed ever onward in the work of the Lord because he knew it was true and of infinite, eternal importance. The adversary worked tirelessly to destroy this man. So long as we stay faithful to the Lord our God, that old serpent can discourage but not defeat us. Heavenly Father has promised never to forsake us, and His promises are eternal truths.

It is true, my friends, we are at spiritual war. We have an enemy who knows us just as well as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do. He knows our weaknesses. Unlike the Lord who tries to strengthen us through them, the enemy will do everything he can to exploit them. Until Christ comes again, we will always be faced with opposition, but the love of God is mightier than the ploys and tactics of the devil. Keep your faith in Him strong, nourish your soul with the good word of God. Pray daily, fast, read your scriptures, keep the commandments and repent when you fall short. Doing so has brought much needed relief and heavenly help into my life, and it will for you, too.

Scriptures give us the principles and instructions needed to escape the snares of the adversary. Prayer gives us a direct line to Heavenly Father. Elder Robert D. Hales said: 'When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures.' (Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation - October 2006 General Conference) Prayer is a sacred blessing, one we should never take for granted.

Keep learning, keep fighting, keep praying, and keep testifying. Work diligently to keep the light of your faith in our Saviour brightly burning. It will illuminate the path forward on even the darkest of nights. Rest assured, as you build on the foundation of Christ, your hope will grow. We know He wins this war, the final victory will be His. Until then, keep fighting and keep believing.