Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not Every Struggle Should be Embraced

When Jesus Christ said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow Me,” (Mark 8.34) He was comparing our Cross to our Christian struggle. But does God expect us to welcome every struggle? We all struggle, but not everyone embraces their struggles nor should they. What types of struggles are we expected to embrace if we are to follow Christ?

When we find ourselves in a struggle that is beyond our control such as poor health or natural disaster, we would do well to remind ourselves, that this sort of struggle is the result of our fallen world, and is not necessarily punishment for poor behavior or a test from God. Sometimes things just happen. These struggles should be embraced as any other part of daily life and they strengthen us for tomorrow.

When we find ourselves in a struggle that is the result of our Faith in Jesus Christ, either in the form of temptation or persecution, we would do well to remind ourselves that the world will forever fight against us to keep us from calling upon the Lord. We will never avoid temptation or persecution so long as we are following Jesus Christ. These struggles should be embraced as building spiritual muscles to fight against the devil and our passions.

And then there are the struggles that we bring on ourselves. We procrastinate. We eat poorly. We sleep when we should be working. We work when we should be praying. We make all sorts of decisions EVERY day that bring us struggle. HOWEVER these struggles should be avoided because they are the result of our poor decisions. This type of struggle is NOT your cross, but your consequence.

And THESE struggles can only be avoided when we embrace the Cross and those struggles that strengthen our faith SO THAT we can fight against temptation. Avoid the poor behavior and the struggle fades away.

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