All of us have those really hard struggles in our lives. Whether it is the struggle against sin (such as gluttony, or anger, or idolatry, or narcissism, or lust, or pride, of fear of what others think) or things like depression, or illness, or guilt (and the list could go on), struggles are not fun. At all. They can be downright miserable sometimes; some days it can be hard to see past them, and one can get lost in this sort of depressing fog of “there. is. no. hope.”.
I will never overcome this sin; I try over and over, but somehow it just keeps creeping back into my life.
Man, sometimes joy isn’t easy to come by, though I try to be happy and do my best to set my mind on what is true, and ask God for help. Sometimes He gives me joy, but I still have to fight those gloomy, sad feelings almost daily.
I NEED to stop worrying about what other people think of me! This isn’t right!
This is what the “fog” looks like in my life. A few of my struggles, as you have seen, are mild depression, fear of man and (obviously) everyday sin. However, I have learned over time, and am still learning, to lean on Jesus for strength to face these hardships in my life. I have to remember – we ALL have to remember – that He is stronger than these struggles. That He placed these battles in my life to sanctify me; to help me to become more like Him. And I want so badly to be more like Him. So hey, if that’s what it takes to become like Jesus, I’ll brave these struggles. After all, He braved many struggles too.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)
Did you catch that? He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. In His life on earth, He was tempted and tried in every possible way that we are today. He knows what pain and temptation and sadness and absolute misery all feel like. And better yet, He is more than able to help. He is able to comfort us in the midst of all the chaos, and give us the strength we need. We can confidently come to Him with our problems, and He will help us.
Jesus, I’m having trouble finding joy today. Would You help me please?
Jesus, I need you to help me to stop worrying about what they think. I know it’s wrong, and Your opinion is the only one that truly matters. Help me to realize that.
Jesus, I’m having a hard time with obedience right now – to say what needs to be said or do what needs to be done. Help me to listen to you and obey.
So my plea to you all is, when life is really hard, run to Jesus for help! He is stronger than the struggles in your life, and in mine. He is the one who said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28)”. He may not remove the burden completely, but He will give the strength to carry it. All we have to do is ask, and believe that He is able.
Grace and peace,