Skip to main content

Struggling Through Life

It is no secret that life is hard. Even when we are following Jesus and doing God’s will life doesn’t get any easier. There is a part of us, even though it has never been promised, that expects things to be easy if we are doing what is right. We want to be validated and reassured that we are doing the right thing.

Though it would seem to me that if we are truly doing God’s will then things would be difficult. Why? Because the enemy is opposed to God. If we are making progress in overcoming sin in our lives, if we are in a relationship God wants us to be a part of, if we are part of a ministry making a difference in the community, or if we are standing up for what is right we shouldn’t be surprised if things are not easy. In fact, I might even suggest that if things are easy it might be time to evaluate what we are doing.

True we can’t evaluate things solely on the basis of whether things are going well or not. Sometimes things will go well even though it is God’s will and sometimes things will be a struggle even though it goes against God’s law. All I want to do is point out that struggling isn’t a bad thing. When God’s will is a struggle this gives us an opportunity to grow and will help us appreciate what God has for us on the other side of the struggle.

In the midst of the struggle we need to remember what Jesus said to the church in Smyrna:
9 "‘I know your suffering, your poverty—though you are rich—and the slander on the part of those who claim to be Jews but aren't. They are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Don't be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. For ten days you will undergo suffering. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the victor's crown of life.

11 ‘Let the person who has an ear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be hurt by the second death.’" (Revelation 2:9-11; ISV)

Jesus tells this group of Christ Followers not to give up in the face of persecution. “Hang in there,” He says, “this won’t last forever.” Our struggle may not be persecution, but it maybe that circumstances haven’t turned out the way we expected. Reality isn’t anything like our dreams and we wonder if we are in the right place. Should we have faith or should we give up?

I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules for such situations, but let me offer you a few thoughts. First, is your struggle tied to right and faithful living? If it is then we are doing what God wants us to do. When our desire is to honor God, encourage people, help others, and grow in our knowledge and faith then there are a lot of places we can go and things we can do and remain in God’s will. These are certainly things that Satan would oppose, so if you are being faithful and loving God and people and things are a struggle stay faithful. You can be confident that you are in the right place.

Second, let go of your dreams. I think God allows us to struggle sometimes because our dreams need to be changed. We are missing out on the life God wants us to live because we are clinging too tightly to the dreams we have for our lives. Even good dreams need to be let go in order to experience God’s best. This is an act of faith because we have come to believe that only in these dreams will we discover happiness, so we are relying totally on God to bring joy into our lives.

A last thought I would offer is to get the opinion of different Christians. These could be people you are close with or not, but they need to be people you respect and who live faithful lives. While we need to evaluate what they say, more than likely they will help us see things from a new perspective. Too often we get so close to the situation that we fail to see the entire picture. The perspective of other Christians can help us see things more clearly.

Life is tough. Just because life is tough doesn’t mean that we are not doing God’s will. Often the struggle is an indication that we are doing what God wants us to do and we are being opposed by the Enemy. We need to stay faithful and in the end we will experience the life God created us to live.

  • Point to Ponder: Struggling isn’t a bad thing.
  • Passage to Remember: Revelation 2:9-11
  • Question to Consider: Are you ready to give up on your struggle? Why?


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…