Christ never said the Christian life would be easy. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. The more you try to stick to the faith, to the teachings of Christ, the more tempting and appealing temptations are. People would say Christians are “stuck up”, killjoys, boring.
YOLO and the need to be free from responsibilities and consequences have been the motto of today’s generation, a complete 180 from Christ’s teachings. The discipline Christ exhibited can be a turn off to them (today’s generation), and to me as well at times. I question God; I get angry at Him; sometimes I curse Him. But every time I fail, fall down, submit to temptation I cry and search for Him, ask why He let me go through troubles and difficulties.
It’s cliche to say that hardships make you stronger, but they do. For me, though I may be stagnant with my growth as a believer and I stray from the path God has laid out for me, this is just another hurdle I need to conquer, another lesson from the Almighty that’ll make me into the person He wants me to be.
Trying to find yourself through this personal crisis like mine and the psychological effects Covid19 can cause, reading these books may help and comfort you.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Summary: California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.
Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael Hosea obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does…the One who will never let her go.
A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.
Additional info: This book has been made into a movie, will be released on 2021
The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
Summary: From the New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love and The Masterpiece—and “one of [Christian fiction’s] most honored and talented writers” (Library Journal)–comes a heart-wrenching but uplifting story about a highly controversial topic.
Dynah Carey knew where her life was headed. Engaged to a wonderful man, the daughter of doting parents, a faithful child of God–she has it all. Then the unthinkable happens: Dynah’s perfect life is irrevocably changed by a rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy.
Her family is torn apart and her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life: to embrace or to end the life within her.
This is ultimately a tale of three women, as Dynah’s plight forces both her mother and her grandmother to confront the choices they made. Written with balance and compassion, The Atonement Child brings a new perspective to a widely debated topic.
Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers
Summary: This best-selling trilogy chronicles a tale of persecution and perseverance of 1st-century Christians in hedonistic Rome.
#1 A Voice in the Wind: Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
#2 An Echo in the Darkness: Turning away from the opulence of Rome, Marcus is led by a whispering voice from the past into a journey that could set him free from the darkness of his soul.
#3 As Sure As the Dawn: Atretes. German warrior. Revered gladiator. He won his freedom through his fierceness . . . but his life is about to change forever.
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
Summary: To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.
To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua–Abra’s closest friend–watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown.
Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.
In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, “New York Times” best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.