By Glenda Ward
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
Our own struggle. Most everyone has something they are struggling with in life. Our own Signature Struggle is the choice, habit, or escape we keep going back to even though we know better. We are likely to give in to our struggles because we are tired and have become stressed or overwhelmed, not because we want to, but when we face fear, loss of, or disruptions to our everyday life of normal, we have the confusion of trying to figure out what the new normal is going to be. In reality, we want to feel better and live life in what we think would be the everyday norm. And our signature struggle tries to convince us this is where the solution lies to what we think should be normal for us …our life, our future. But we know deep down this is an empty compromise.
Invisible pain. In one way or another, we all have it. Whether it is pain from a chronic illness, relational baggage, fresh grief, or trauma from many sources, we are all marked by pieces of our stories unseen to others. When I give into my signature struggle, my mind echoes: How can God use you when you keep going back to what you can’t change? It makes me feel like a failure. What is the use in trying?
We are not to give the enemy that victory. Instead, we are to embrace the grace that God has given us, that is what transforms us, that which brings us out of hiding in that messed up struggle that life itself has dealt to us. Embrace the grace that gives us the courage to keep trying. It is the superpower that defeats our struggles. God can use the places where we have experienced the most hurt, pain, and shame to bring Him glory.
In our weakness, His strength is ever so present. If you have given in to a messed-up Signature Struggle, let me resound, to myself as well: We are still loved. Who we are in Christ hasn’t changed. We will rise above our earthly mess-up if we humble ourselves and accept God’s mercy and grace. God moves before us with power. Be still in Him. Follow His leading direction in daily living. The battle is not ours, but God’s.
As believers, we never have to worry about how to engage our conflicts because they all belong to God. And in being His, we have already won. Our responsibility is to obey His directions, whatever He instructs us to do, and trust in Him to show us His triumphant way in which we should live. Praise to God who paves the way for a deep relationship with God and victory in our circumstances. When we begin to exalt Him, we become aware of how completely able He is to help us.
It doesn’t matter if God’s commands don’t make sense – obey them anyway. The Lord has already won our battles for us and His interest in involving us is to build our faith. That is why He will often command us to do things that seem unreasonable – to see if we will trust Him. (Reference 2 Chronicles 20:15; 20:20). Our lack of understanding and clarity is evidence that God is beyond anything we can ask or imagine.
When we see no clear answer or direction, that is OK. God has the answer. God is the answer to all our struggles, circumstances, doubts, and questions. He is close; He is watching; He is caring. His knowledge is too wondrous and His sovereignty too great for us to fully grasp, but God invites us into a larger deeper faith. We learn to trust God in the face of life’s uncertainties. Faith proves to our hearts the very thing we are unsure of, and amid difficulties and uncertainty, this is what we need. Those characteristics that we don’t understand in our minds and leave us at a loss to understand – are precisely the reasons we can and must trust God.
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.