No matter holy, sanctified, rich or successful you are, there will come a time when le struggle gets absolutely real. The struggle comes not to break us down or to delay our progress but to strengthen and prepare us what is to come. But as beautiful as all of that sounds, none of us care to hear that when we’re going through it. We don’t want to hear about the glory that’s coming on the other side—we just want the struggle to be over so that we can continue moving forward.
If you’re single, the struggle can be finding peace in your season of singlehood while friends get engaged and married.
If you feel lost and without purpose, the struggle can be a feeling of inadequacy while those around you experience promotions and launch new businesses.
If you’re working on weight loss, the struggle can simply be frustration as your weight plateaus while friends post pics in bikinis and form-fitting dresses.
The struggle can be a variety of things, feelings, emotions and experiences. While the struggle is always temporary, we usually tend to allow it to shake the foundation of our faith and disrupt the core of our peace. I know this because I’ve experienced each of the struggles listed above plus a few others at various times in my life, and I didn’t always handle those seasons well.
In my failed attempts to manage those emotions and feelings on my own, I learned three valuable principles to keep in mind while in the midst of the struggle:
- Keep Your Heart In Check: The struggle can make you bitter if you’re not careful. It can cause you to seek people and things in order to fill the voids the struggle is exposing and eventually lead to decisions of regret.
Proverbs 4:23, admonishes us to guard our hearts above all else because the deepest issues of life flow from our hearts. Therefore, we learn that the core of our being begins with our hearts and things inside of it. That means dreams, hopes, desires, goals—all of those things dwell within our hearts. Therefore, we must be sure to protect our hearts in the midst of the struggle so that the enemy cannot uproot the precious things that God has planted.
- Keep Your Attitude in Check: I don’t know about you but even when I’m having a bad day, I have a tendency to be short on patience and even kindness. Therefore, you can imagine how sassy and irritable I can become during a season of le struggle.
What about you? Do you become insensitive because you’re unhappy? Do you say or do mean things to friends and loved ones? Do you become short-tempered or dismissive with others?
Who we are in the midst of a dark season is one of the most enlightening and revealing moments of our lives because it exposes every ugly part of our being.
The good news is that we don’t have to be miserable and be ugly. We can find refuge in God’s promises and choose the fruit of the spirit over the roots of bitterness.
- Keep Your Character in Check: Going through the struggle will tempt you to do some crazy things. It will cause you to do and say things that are completely out of your character, just because you’re out of your comfort zone. It will cause you to be envious, jealous, spiteful, unapologetic and cause you to do things such as lie, cheat, steal and even mislead others just because you’re unhappy with the season of your life.
At times, our discomfort with the struggle seems to be enough to justify acting out of our godly character but make no mistake about it, one moment of indiscretion is never worth our destiny or purpose. Therefore, we must be mindful of our representative and never cease to present ourselves as anything less than the character of God.
Keeping each of these areas in check during the midst of the struggle allows our relationship with God to remain fluid and not stagnant. As God continues to process and mold our lives during the struggle, He prepares us to flourish and shine. The key to making it through the struggle is surrounding yourself with a good network of friends and simply keeping God first daily through prayer, praise and time in the Word.
No matter where you are in your walk today, my prayer is that you would experience the goodness and peace of God each day. May He shine his face upon you with great favor and love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
“May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.”