The dictionary defines the word struggle as, “a forceful or violent effort to get free of restraint or resist attack.”
Personally, I have many struggles–but probably my most obvious struggle is smoking. I have been smoking since the age of fourteen and have tried to stop a myriad of times, but have never been able to quit completely. For a month or so I will quit, and then I say to myself, “Hey, I can do it now! This is no longer tempting to me, so I can sit down and have one last cigarette and never smoke again.” But right after the first cigarette I go numb, buy a pack, and smoke it all the way down to the last cigarette. I justify my actions in every way possible, saying to myself, “I’m not addicted. I just enjoy it.” Or, “I don’t smoke when I’m angry.” But when I do get angry and smoke, I justify that as well by telling myself, “It won’t happen again; this is a one time thing”. The truth is, I am downright addicted. I rely on myself to quit. I don’t turn to others when I struggle, because I see smoking as a little sin and I think I should be dealing with other stuff right now. Realistically, I cannot stop smoking on my own.
Do you ever feel this way about your struggles? Do you feel like your struggle is too small for God to care, or for people to want to help you? Do you feel like you’ll never stop struggling with the same sin?
I understand this thinking because I struggle, too. It’s hard for me to love my brothers, hard for me to quit smoking, hard for me to put God in the front of everything, hard for me to love people.
My struggles start when I am not focused on Christ, when I think His finished work does not cover it all, when I am self-centered instead of Christ-centered. Now is when I turn to my mentor and great friend. He points me to Christ, and builds me up in the Word of God.
First off, go to God and pray, thanking Him for being such a wonderful, loving Father, so beautiful in everything He does. Thank Jesus for dying for the sins of this world, sins that we have committed; thank Jesus for being obedient even to death. Thank the Holy Spirit for residing in us, for convicting our hearts of our sins, for giving us discernment in the Word, and an understanding of the differences between good and evil. Then, please, please tell a brother or sister in the faith about the sins you are struggling with. Let them know what you are dealing with and seek Godly counsel from them.
And finally, read the Word of God, let it soak in. Read the Gospels of Jesus, study His life, study His actions. LOOK AT HOW GOOD OUR GOD IS! Are you still amazed that God forgives you?
Struggles may bring you to your knees, but when you are on your knees, pray for His strength, and when you get on your feet, pray even harder. Pray with thanksgiving always. It is only by His grace that you are saved. What an awesome God we have!
This is a website designed for people who struggle with sin. This site points you to Christ and not to yourself. Give God glory in all that you may do. http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/
– David Wright