Recently, while sorting through my inbox an email caught my eye with the subject, “What if You Didn’t Struggle?”. Generally in the midst of a struggle we really don’t want to be there. But thinking back on my life and where I am now and who I am today, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have a struggle. Often struggles are seen as something negative, but what I’ve found is that struggles are where we find our strength. Our human tendency is to gear towards comfort. But in the times that we don’t have it, we are left with a choice. Do we embrace the uncomfortable and embrace the pain and the struggle acknowledging the purpose and the strength and the beauty that can come from it, or do we resist and try to control the change.
Change is critical in your walk with God. If you are not changing and becoming more like Him, then you are not moving forward in the Kingdom. Without trials there is no change. Oftentimes people don’t change or submit to the change until the pain outweighs the fear. But difficult times are an invitation to grow.
James 1:2-4 says:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Don’t complain about pain – there is a purpose in it. There is a strength. Praise God through the pain because it is a reminder that you can’t go through without Him.
“His power is made perfect in our weakness.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
God wants to show himself strong on our behalf. He is faithful and He is good and He is worthy of praise – no matter what our circumstances may be. Keep the faith. Hold to the promises and who God has shown you to be.
One of the greatest examples of holding to the goodness of God in the midst of trial and tribulation is my assistant pastor, Pastor Steve. He was diagnosed with cancer and has fought a good fight, and continues to fight. He’s faced this so graciously and is walking out deep faith and trust in God who is good, even when life hurts. Pastor Steve is an incredible man of God with a heart of worship even in the midst of these circumstances.
The question shouldn’t be, “what if you didn’t struggle?”
Instead, “What if you held on to the truth of who God is in the midst of your struggle?”
Be real about your pain, but be right about your perspective. Always embrace the truth of who God is and who he says he is.