We are all human. The bible is abundant with examples of those who struggled with their flesh. If you live on this earth, and were not born with translucent appendages that carry you to and fro, you are probably prone to struggle. I am no angel either.
On the contrary, I am not on the opposite side of that spectrum. I refuse to accept that I am a part of the demonic realm. (Regardless of what number is on my driver’s license. I will expound on in a blog post at a later date, I’m sure.) I struggle, not because I’m on God’s “opposing” team, but because I was born into a sin nature and I occupy this “earth-suit” that we call our flesh.
Now, I am not making an excuse for the shortcomings that I find in myself, but rather pointing the fact that we are each in need of God’s assistance due to the inadequacies that we may have. None of us are immune to sin, or the sin nature. Each of us has a predisposition to certain things. One may struggle with overeating, while another has struggles with lust, or hatred, or forgiveness. We each have our weaknesses, each with our own unique battles to win. None are exempt. Though they may vary in type, we all have them.
I am one of those who seem to have always had a battle that I am raging against. Whether it be a a small, seemingly insignificant battle or on a larger more detailed scale, It seems there is always something. I often wonder, when will reach a place in life where I never struggle? Will that day ever come? Will I always have a struggle? The answers are, no, I will never reach a place where I never struggle, that day will never come. Will I always have something to overcome? The answer is an irrevocable, YES!!
So, as I share on this topic, I figure I can confess one of my struggles. For about 20 years, i battled with an eating disorder. Over the duration of those years I would win and lose many mini-battles. I would cry out and I would stand on God’s word, and yet I would fail. Over and over again. I failed. I had faith that ultimately, one day I would win the war. It was a long journey. It hasn’t been easy. It was a daily struggle, hourly and minute struggle at times. Looking back, I see that although it took so many years to finally “break Free”, and I do believe I have won that “war”, I still have my predisposition to that particular sin, because I live in my flesh. Until the day I die, I will have to train it, and tell it who is in control. For the rest of my life, I will have to trust that God is the one who helps me when I am weak. My struggle may not be like it once was, but that is because over time, with little victories we learn how to depend on Him, and not in ourselves. Over time, I have learned how to overcome.
Through all of the days of this struggle, I’ve come to this understanding. The greater the struggle, the deeper the victory. If I overcame this on my own, I would have no need to trust God daily to help me through it all. When I think I can overcome any particular struggle on my own, it’s then that I fail. It’s only when I relied on God’s strength to carry me through my food weaknesses that I would actually find my true successes. Have I arrived? No. But, I no longer battle every single moment of my day. Some of the greatest wisdom I have gained is that of being honest with myself about the areas where I struggle. Not denying my shortcomings and where I need help, but, realizing and trusting in His ability to strengthen me through them. Throughout my lifetime, I will need His help. I’ve learned this. When you learn to overcome, in Christ, you gain momentum, and confidence. You learn how to become an over-comer and you learn that you CANNOT have a lifetime of overcoming your struggles without His strength!
So, for me the question is, why? The answer to that question is; because if I ever reached my place of completeness, I’d lose my need for an almighty God, in whom my flesh is so desperate for. Struggle keeps me humble. Struggles keep me needy. Without the need for my savior to help me through, I become my own savior, and thus nullify what Christ did for me on the cross. When He died that day, He did it for you, for me and for our struggles that will occur during our lifetime. He died for our struggles, and has given to us through His blood the ability to overcome, and trust in His strength. There will never be a day in which we are not in need of Him. The struggles help us to remember to abide in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing that lasts, but in Him, we are more than conquerors and we can overcome, again and again. Not in our strength, but in His. Praise be to the God who delivers us from this body of death. Praise be to the God who gives us the strength to overcome!
If every you feel the struggle coming down on you, in any area, know this: You are not alone. There are many examples throughout the bible of those who struggled and yet overcame. Life, this real life, is full of people just like you and I who have struggled. Trust not in yourself, but in Him. He will never leave you, and He will be with you through every failure and every victory. You may not struggle with an eating disorder like I did, but wherever it is you are struggling, trust that He is there with you and will remain with you, until the end. Wherever that end may be.
(Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)
Here’s a little “real life” from one of the greatest Christ followers, ever, the Apostle Paul. He lived in an earth-suit, and he knew the struggle.
(Romans 7:15-25-I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!)
(2 Corinthians 12:9-And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.)
If the Apostle Paul struggled and overcame, so can you and I!
You my friend, are an over-comer. You can do this. Whatever it is, you can do it. In his strength, you can overcome!
If you are struggling, reach out to an almighty God who is always available to help you through.
You got this!
In His strength.
Believe in Him who will give you the power to overcome. Again, and again.