Life is a struggle and is an everday occurrence. So how are you doing in your struggles?
– Rivalry between siblings in the home? for parents’ attention and love
– Competition at school? for best results in learning, sports, popularity
– Enrolment in the best institutions of higher learning – what the world wants, not on the values and standards of God
-Highest ranked and honor at work in academia, business and community
– Highest achievement in family, home, car, credit card, insurance, status – must beat the neighbour
– Productivity, Assets, Relationships – good is not enough, when better, we must have the best!
What was that all about? Things that will not last for eternity. Were the struggles worth it? When all you got was the yearning for more of each as you attained each level higher? When will it all stop? At the grave – with nothing for you to carry with you unless you have a casket into which some sentimental items are thrown – than what? burn in the flames of cremation or to be decomposed in burial?
For the Faith Child the common struggles are
– carnal vs spiritual – do we want to go our own way or listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
– worldy vs godly – do we want to choose the temporal against the eternal?
– cold, hot or luke-warm – will we be legalistic with no warmth of love, committed with all our body, soul and spirit, or satisfied with just being blown about with every wind of doctrine blowing hot and cold whatever comes our way?
There will be no struggle if we would let the Holy Spirit be our Guide and Leader. If we follow and our motivations, achievements are in syc with the will of God and the pleasure and praise of the Holy Spirit, we will cease from our struggles.
Then it will be in our nature to immediately run to those who are struggling, offer them assistance, and help them minimize the struggles they face. Unfortunately, this does very little to prepare them for the struggles to come. Parents know that one of the toughest things they can do is watch their children struggle. Spelling is tough and math can be even tougher. If they immediately jump in, find the solution, and end their children’s homework misery, their children will find themselves in the classroom the next day beginning to struggle – instead of turning to themselves they look for someone else to help them or do the wrong thing by copying their friends’ solutions. Parents would have taught them nothing if they do not teach them to figure something out for themselves – to endure a struggle – to keep going, keep trying, and continue fighting until the struggle ceases.
This applies to almost every aspect of life – spiritual, personal or professional life. When a new Christian struggles, we look to fix or help them through the situation. What if we stopped doing this and started asking them to come up with their own solutions to these problems? What if we viewed each person as capable? What if we considered struggles to be the mechanism for development and preparation for what’s to come?
We can certainly learn from others and sometimes that is exactly what we need to do in follow-up and counselling after the baby Christian’s commitment prayer to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. Before we offer assistance – give an individual a chance to try and struggle through the challenge and stand by them. If they get frustrated and want to quit – give them a piece of the solution and motivate them to continue trying. This teaches them skills needed to cope and work their way through struggles. Jumping in and offering solutions teaches people nothing – other than to turn and look at someone else for a solution which they themselves are fully capable of developing on their own with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word.
Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that human progress required struggling and during the struggles suffering would occur. He knew it would require sacrifice and passion from a dedicated individual to overcome these struggles. He knew that getting through the struggles one faced would inevitably lead to progress, making one stronger, and much more prepared for the struggles yet to come.
We must do the same with ourselves before we reach full dedication to the Lord and faith in His Word, and the Holy Spirit fully is Lord. We must let others too grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord by letting them develop in the face of struggles whilst pointing them the way of the Word.