Picture this: itÂ’s 5:30 AM and the blaring sound of your alarm jolts you from your sleep. You know that itÂ’s time to get up out of bed. But itÂ’s still a bit chilly and to top it all off itÂ’s raining cats and dogs on the outside. So instead of jumping out from under your nice cozy blanket you decide to just roll over to the side and catch a few more minutes. You know what youÂ’re supposed to do but another part of you wants to linger a bit longer. So the STRUGGLE begins. As inviting as staying in bed is, it is only a matter of time before you know that the STRUGGLE will eventually give way to you getting up and getting the day going. Depending on the kind of night youÂ’ve had or what may be planned for the day ahead, the STRUGGLE may be more intense. And even though youÂ’ve started your day, there remains the STRUGGLE between whether to give in to how you feel on the one hand and what you know you should do on the other. If you can identify with that tension today, then our FF is an invitation to be somewhat transparent and admit I STILL STRUGGLE.

To STRUGGLE is to fight. It is to wrestle. When we hear of someone who is STRUGGLING usually it suggests that thereÂ’s something or someone that they are up against. STRUGGLE implies that when the outcome is had there will be a winner and loser. We tend to think of STRUGGLE as involving another. But not all STRUGGLES are that way. Some STRUGGLES are not with or against another being or thing but sometimes against one own self. Generally, we tend to back away from the moments of STRUGGLES especially if in times past we have been more on the losing side rather than on the victorÂ’s podium. But we ought not to be so quick to run at the onset of the STRUGGLE. Sometimes thereÂ’s no place to run to either. And depending on the nature of the STRUGGLE, we tend not to be that open about the STRUGGLE. Maybe itÂ’s too embarrassing or too shameful in our estimation. And even if that may be the case, though we need not mention the nature of the STRUGGLE, yet we should not deny that I STILL STRUGGLE. Maybe there will be a change of attitude on our part when we begin to see ourselves as not being defined by our STRUGGLES but instead to see the STRUGGLES as defining moments. When we do then we have no problem confessing I STILL STRUGGLE.

Why the STRUGGLES? Maybe because even though we are made in the image and likeness of God, we are also made of flesh. And so there is a part to us that desires to know God’s will and please God on the one hand while there’s also a desire to please self. It is impossible here to list the many types of STRUGGLES that persons face each day. Some STRUGGLE with the mind and their thoughts. Others STRUGGLE with their mouth and what they say or things that they do with and in their bodies. But whatever the nature of the STRUGGLE, thank God that you recognize that you STILL STRUGGLE. That says that in our hearts there STILL remains a desire to live a life pleasing to God. I’ve also discovered that often times it is in the STRUGGLE and through the STRUGGLE that God perfects His will in and through us. So as Jacob STRUGGLED with God, he emerges to become Israel (Gen. 32: 22 – 28). As Jesus STRUGGLES in the Garden of Gethsemane about the coming cup of suffering, the STRUGGLE was so intense that his sweat was like drops of blood. But through that STRUGGLE, he surrendered himself to the will of the Father (Luke 22:42) and atoned for the sins of the world.

So today though we may all have different STRUGGLES, God’s purpose for our lives and God’s Kingdom is birthed through those STRUGGLES. So don’t run from them. Neither should we take the easier option in the STRUGGLE. Let’s not be naïve, for the same STRUGGLES which can be used by God can also become a doorway for the devil to set up strongholds in our lives. Be alert in the STRUGGLE and allow God to use the STRUGGLE for our transformation. And because there’s a blessing in the STRUGGLE, then never be afraid to confess I STILL STRUGGLE. Who knows, your confession may encourage other saints in their STRUGGLE too. After all we all STILL STRUGGLE!

Mikie Roberts (Rev)
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