Friday, May 4, 2018

Struggle

"The struggle is part of the journey."

The above quote is from a woman struggling to live after a stage-4 tumor was surgically removed from her brain. She says that she is glad that it is just “part.”
“Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait.”
Struggle is the essence of life. It is the God ordained way of things human.
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Hebrews 12:4-7).

The central meaning of live comes from knowing God in His Son who did shed His blood for us that in our struggle against sin we would know that He has already overcome it for us on the cross. Failure is not final. It is being sanctified through our life in Christ as we trust in Him. It just is as King David said in Psalm 23.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:4).
David, near the end of his life had come to know that struggle and valleys are the main thing of life, but that God is good and protects and comforts us even though we will suffer in it. That is the key, He does anoint our heads with the oil of life and eternal life so our lives can overflow in the struggle and we can live mercifully in the house of the Lord forever.

“Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
I am so glad that the Bible chronicles man’s struggle through the ages. I am always amazed at how the Apostle Paul was battered as delineated in 2 Corinthians 11. If that was not enough, Acts 27 portrays dramatically the survival or all with him in a shipwreck. As Salinger writes for the ages as well to young men, we need to learn from these things.

All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.
Pope Paul tells us that all life demands struggle or we will become selfish and hedonistic.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.
This renown grief therapist talks of how people become beautiful, and that is through struggle. Can I get a testimony or at least Amen.

Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
I am not sure what progress always is, but this civil rights activist of the 19th century was measuring progress in the struggle against slavery. This was and still is an honorable struggle for life in freedom.

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
We must live our individual struggles. We cannot change other people or circumstances to avoid it, coercion is fruitless. He wrote often of struggle in bestsellers like The Grapes of Wrath.  

I pick my favourite quotations and store them in my mind as ready armour, offensive or defensive, amid the struggle of this turbulent existence.
This Scottish poet and lyricist was active for social change and dealt with struggle finding armor and sword in it. It was this that was the topic of his writings.

Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!
So let us celebrate the struggle through spiritual disciplines.  These keep our minds on God and His promises that are certain. We need to keep our minds on the triumph we have in Christ. Struggle is the way of life. That is how we can “Consider it pure joy when we come into trials of diverse kinds, because the testing of our faith develops perseverance which must finish it’s work so you can be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). Yes, call on the Lord and He will give you how and what to do in the struggle. He will take you through if you trust in Him and are not double-minded, like a wave blown in the wind.
Struggle on.



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