Skip to content

The Enduring Gospel

We’ve got a box in our home where we keep a battered blue and white badge. Anyone of a certain age who grew up in the UK will probably recognize it. It marks me (Sarah) out as having been a runner-up in a competition organized by the children’s TV show Blue Peter. To have a Blue Peter badge in the early 1980s meant that you were a winner!

Don’t you just love success? Maybe somewhere you have a certificate or a trophy that brings back a rush of happy memories. You’ve worked hard at something, and you’ve succeeded at it. People have noticed your talents, and you’ve made progress at what you’ve set your heart on. Success is sweet, and life sometimes is very sweet. You’ve got the badge to prove it.

So often, though, life can be hard and bitter. We’re writing this book near the end of 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense and international devastation over the past two years. Some have been personally affected by illness and bereavement. All have had personal freedom severely restricted. We’ve been reminded that, despite rapidly improving technology, life is fragile, the unexpected can happen, and people are unreliable. And it’s not just other people who are unreliable, but perhaps you’ve discovered you’re unreliable too. One day you think you’ll achieve great things, but then the next day, it’s all you can do to crawl out of bed. Hard situations show how weak we all are.

This weakness can be confusing if you’re a Christian. You know that you are a child of God, filled with his Spirit. Your Bible teaches you that God is for you, but when trials come, you stumble and feel as though you are falling. Is your faith all that you thought it was?

Real World

We have been happily married for over twenty-five years and have been involved in ministry together for even longer. We’re not immune, however, to the struggles of feeling weary and weak. Dealing with our own problems, serving other people, and just being part of a family means that very often we both feel out of our depth, confused and failing. Sometimes other people see our cracks; sometimes they don’t.If Christians are to develop and stand with a resilient faith, we all must take up the spiritual weapons and armor that Paul details. Click To Tweet

Our five children are now in or approaching young adulthood. As we watch and support them, we’ve realized that life for them and the young adults in our church is so much harder than it was for us at the same stage. The world is a far less stable place, and young adults are bearing the brunt of the instability. A fragile world makes for fragile minds and hearts. For example, in both the US and the UK the proportion of students who reported a mental health difficulty in 2021 was around 50 percent, an enormous increase from the 20 percent who identified in this way in 2014.[1]  The privileges previously taken for granted— housing, careers, savings, health care—are in scant supply for today’s young adults.

Fortunately, it seems easier than ever before to raise your hand and say, “I’m struggling,” and that’s no bad thing. There are countless celebrities and sports people who have been applauded for honesty and courage in acknowledging their weaknesses. But what happens next? How do they (and you) keep going when pain comes? Or how do you get back on your feet when you feel as though you’ve been floored? And how does our Christian faith make a real difference? Before you is a journey into distinctively Christian resilient faith and living. It’s a way marked out by our persevering Savior, Jesus Christ, and he has all the resources needed to help all of us make it to the end with a confident faith in him.

Real Resilience

This book is written out of our own personal challenges, joys, and disappointments in work, relationships, and church. It also comes out of our work supporting young adults who are struggling to stand firm, Christian as well as non-Christian. We’ve seen that in times of trial, what’s needed more than anything else is resilience, the ability to weather the storm and keep going.

For the Christian, resilience is about more than grittiness or self-care. It is about standing firm in your faith and keeping on following Jesus. Click To TweetFor the Christian, resilience is about more than grittiness or self-care. It is about standing firm in your faith and keeping on following Jesus. Thirty-one times the New Testament uses the Greek word hypomene. The sense of it is covered by our words “patient-endurance,” “perseverance,” and “steadfastness.” This is the grace-shaped habit of keeping on trusting Christ even when life is hard, of relying on God’s power to obey Jesus in difficult times.

So here in this book, we’ll be focusing on developing resilient faith. There are nine main sections, each with two or three mini chapters. Some chapters are written by Sarah, some by Lewis. We suggest that you take one chapter a day or perhaps ponder a part each week. You could give yourself the added challenge of reading this book with a friend. Together, aim to grow as you discuss and pray through what you read and learn in this book. Discipleship is always best shared!

Some of what we talk about will help you explore the assumptions you have about life—for example, the place of rest, work, leisure, and habits in the life of faith. We explore the attitudes and behaviors that will help you grow in engaging with God’s word, praying, being part of the church, and serving the Lord. We are sure that resilient faith, which the Holy Spirit is forming in all of us, is shaped as we bring all of life under the loving and gentle authority of our gracious Lord.

In the pages ahead we illustrate some of the challenges Christians face by introducing you to some characters, their struggles and faith. These aren’t specific individuals; instead, we’ve put together traits and situations from a range of people we’ve known over years of ministry.

The Bible passage that more than any other shapes what’s ahead is Ephesians 6:10–18. Our central chapters explore this passage of Scripture in some detail. Paul sets before the Ephesian believers the idea that the Christian life is a battle Christians are commanded to fight. If Christians are to develop and stand with a resilient faith, we all must take up the spiritual weapons and armor that Paul details. If we step out of the battle, pretend that the devil isn’t real, or assume that the Christian life is easy, we’ve lost. If we fight the battle, experiencing in Winston Churchill’s famous phrase, “toil, tears, and sweat,” we’ll discover that we’re actually standing firm through the working of God’s power. We are being resilient in his strength.

We want to help you put on the armor that God provides so that you can stand firm in both the gut-wrenching shocks of life and in the energy-draining day-to-day. More than anything, we want to encourage you that God is really for you in this journey. As you learn to stand in your faith, you will see how much you are loved and safe in Christ, can be confident in the Father’s plan for you, and are empowered by his indwelling Spirit. There is truly no joy as deep as standing firm in faith in the Lord (2 Cor. 1:24).

The above excerpt is from Lewis & Sarah Allen’s book, Resilient Faith Learning to Rely on Jesus in the Struggles of Life. Crossway, a ministry of Good News Publishers © 2023. Used by permission.


[1] Jess Berthold, “48% of Young Adults Struggled with Mental Health in Mid-2021,” University of California San Francisco, April 13, 2022,; Manish Pandey, “Mental Health Negatively Affecting Almost 50% of UK Students in Survey,” BBC News, June 29, 2022,; Craig Thorley, “Not By Degrees: Improving Student Mental Health in the UK’s Universities,” Institute for Public Policy Research, September 2017, /2017-09/1504645674_not-by-degrees-170905.pdf.

Lewis Allen

Lewis Allen (ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of Hope Church in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, which he helped plant after twelve years of pastoring a church in West London.

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen (MTh, Union School of Theology) is an English teacher and the northern director of Flourish Course (a Gospel training initiative). She also leads the women’s ministry at Hope Church in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England.

Back to Top