The Strong Struggle

I recently started working out…again. This is about the 38th time that I’ve started. But this time I’m committed…to last at least a week.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle at it. I struggle with lifting weights and the proper form. I struggle with motivating myself to go down in my basement and actually do it. I struggle most of all with not eating every single cookie in the house as a reward for a 30 minute exercise.

I struggle. But if I’m struggling, that at least means I’m not quitting.

The strong struggle. Every strong person you know in your life has struggled with something. In fact, every strong person you know continues to get stronger because they continue to struggle. The opposite of struggle is to quit, to give up, to throw in the towel. The weak quit, but the strong struggle.

I struggle with God. I struggle with the idea that God is all powerful and all loving but there is still such devastating disaster in the world daily. If you don’t struggle with that, I don’t think you’re human. I struggle with reading my Bible all the time and praying. Oh, do I struggle with that. I have such an active mind it’s very difficult to sit still for 20, 30 minutes at a time.

But I struggle, I don’t give up.

The Bible is full of stories about people struggling with God. The most famous is the story of Jacob wrestling God all night long (Genesis 32). When dawn broke, God gave in and blessed Jacob, turning him from a liar into a prince.

This story of physical struggle represents a lot of mental and spiritual struggles we have with God. And a lot of those struggles happened in the Bible too.

  • Job struggled with defending a God who would allow his whole family to be wiped out.
  • David struggled with those who ridiculed him for trusting in a God who seemed to abandon him.
  • Elijah struggled with depression and isolation.
  • Daniel struggled with those who tried to kill him for following God’s word.
  • Even Jesus struggled on his last night on earth when he asked, “Can you take this cup from me?”

It’s normal and natural to struggle. We shouldn’t be surprised when we struggle. If you’re not struggling with something in your life, you’ve likely given up. Whether it’s the struggle to stay spiritually disciplined, the struggle against a particular sin, or struggles in your relationships with others, you’ve got a fight on your hand.

But the strong struggle because to give up would be weakness.