Struggles Are Necessary
We all know what it means to struggle. By definition it means to contend with a task or problem. By experience it means pain and difficulty we would rather avoid. The third grader knows what it means to struggle with math. A teenager struggles with peer pressure. Young families often deal with financial struggles. As we grow older we struggle with health issues of aging bodies. It seems that all God’s children got struggles.
Our natural tendency is to think life would be better if it were not filled with things that cause our struggles. Certainly it would be easier, but would it be better? We easily fall in to the trap of thinking that God is making a mistake in allowing us to go through the tough times of testing. Our preference would be for a method of maturing that does not involve so much difficulty. Subtly we find ourselves struggling with the wisdom and goodness of God.
It should be understood that many of our difficulties and struggles come from wrong choices and bad decisions. Others come simply as a result of living in a fallen world. How we view these trials and tests makes all the difference. We can resent them and become bitter, or we can embrace them and become better. We choose!
Jesus serves as the prime example of accepting the will of God through many struggles. We can find insight and encouragement in our trials by keeping our eyes on Christ. He was patient through all His trials. We have never struggled like he did. His heavenly Father allowed it in order to accomplish an eternal purpose. Struggles are never easy, but they serve a necessary purpose.
I love what Max Lucado says in his devotional entitled, You’ll Get Through This: “It won’t be painless. Does God guarantee the absence of struggle? Not in this life. We see Satan’s tricks and ploys, but God sees Satan tripped and foiled. You’ll get through this.”