Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Victory is IN the Struggle

There are so many people I know of who are going through some sort of struggle right now - physical struggles, spiritual struggles, financial struggles, etc, etc, etc.
It seems like every day I hear of another.  I have a very good friend who has been struggling with cancer and is fighting the good fight every single day.  As she was sharing with me one day a couple of weeks ago, she was expressing that she felt so unspiritual because she continually has to battle the fear that threatens constantly to overtake her and she continually has to fight to stand on the promises of God and trust Him in the face of unfavorable reports.  And then she has to battle the accusations from the enemy that she is not strong in her faith and she is not victorious!
As I was praying for her one day, I felt the Lord rise up within me and show me that she is indeed victorious because -
The Victory is IN the Struggle!
Most times we don't feel very victorious when we continually have to battle our thoughts and the voice of the enemy; we don't feel very victorious when our first reaction is not godly; when our first thoughts are not godly. 
But I think the fact that we DO struggle means we are victorious already!
The fact that we struggle means that the Holy Spirit is speaking to our conscience.
The fact that we struggle means that God is working in our hearts to build our faith, to strengthen us for the victory!
The fact that we struggle means that we are "working out our salvation with fear and trembling."
The fact that we struggle means that God is working in us "perfecting our faith."
The fact that we struggle means that we are aware of our imperfections and aware of our sin and know that we "fall short of the glory of God."
The fact that we struggle means that we are aware there is something greater to struggle for!
Ungodly people typically don't struggle with wrong thoughts, wrong actions, selfish ambitions, entitlement attitudes, lack of faith or trust, etc because they don't think those things are wrong; they don't have the revelation of the Holy Spirit to know these things are ungodly!!

In the midst of their fears, they often succumb to them and are bound in lifestyles severely limited by those fears.

Or they turn to the idols of food, drugs, alcohol, sex, TV, etc to try to fill the turmoil of the struggle.
As Christians, most times, we are all too painfully aware that we fall short, but that is exactly what God wants us to see so He can reveal our need for Him!

We need to depend on Him always - in all things - through all things.  His greatest desire is for us to be dependent on Him.  Dependent upon Him day by day - hour by hour - moment by moment!
We all struggle with our shortcomings and our lack of "fruit" at times in our Christian walk.  God comforts us with these words -
"For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Philippians 2:13
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:6
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everylasting."
Psalm 139:23,24
It's as God searches our hearts and reveals to us those things that He finds in our hearts, that we see them and can repent and seek Him to change in us what only He can change; seek Him to strengthen in us what only He can strengthen; seek Him to sanctify us by His Word and His Spirit.
We are totally at His mercy - and that is precisely the best place to be!

One other thing we might struggle with in dealing with life's challenges is the misconception that because we are sick or have financial problems or other issues, God must be unhappy with us.

He doesn't love us anymore,
we must be in sin,
or the best one of all -
we are being punished for our "bad behavior!"

All of these are lies of the enemy, meant to discourage us and keep us even further from God.

The ultimate struggle is for our faith - our faith in God, in who He is and what His word says.  If Satan can get us to live in unbelief for any reason, then he keeps us far from God.

Fact is - God loves you because God is love; He can't do anything but love.
Fact is - God doesn't punish; he disciplines - there IS a big difference!

"My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.  For whom the Lord loves he chastens....If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons..."
Hebrews 12:5,6,7

God chastens those He loves!
Fact is - life happens; bad things happen to good people!
Fact is - God never promised us a "rose garden."

Fact is - God is perfecting our faith in and through all our trials.

"Wherein you greatly rejoice though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
I Peter 1:6,7
Be encouraged as you struggle.  God is in the struggle with you.  He has not abandoned you and left you to your own devices.  He will continually lead and guide you and deliver you!

Remember -

the Victory is IN the Struggle! 
We are victorious!


No comments:

Post a Comment