There are good times in life when all is going well. There are other times when life is difficult, when we struggle from day to day. It is a struggle to get up...to get going...to smile. We feel like we are on the outside looking in. These days are hard, lonely. They feel as if they will never end. As much as we wish they would end, each day seems to be a repeat of the day before. Below are areas we all struggle in at times and some encouraging words for those who are struggling now.
We struggle with fear.
When we are going through difficult times, we fear these days will never end. We fear we will never be happy again. We are afraid things will get worse.
We struggle with the future.
When we are struggling, we lose our sense of optimism...the belief that things will get better one day. Day after day after day, we carry these feelings of pessimism about the future.
We struggle with our failures.
For some of us, we can't get beyond what we have done. We live with our regrets daily. Our failures are constantly on our minds. We believe, because of our failures, we have ruined our future.
We struggle with our finances.
We all have bills to pay...needs to meet. But it seems like there are more bills than money, more needs than money. Even though we have tried to manage and make more money, things seem to be getting worse. Instead of getting ahead, we fall further behind.
We struggle with family.
No one has the perfect family. It is easy to look at other families and believe they are without their problems, difficulties, and struggles. But the truth is, every family has their struggles. Most everyone has struggles with their marriages, as parents, with children, with conflict, etc...
We struggle with our feelings.
In the middle of our struggles, we feel alone, sad, depressed, despair, and discouraged. We do not want to feel this way, but we do. More than anything, we want to feel better...to be happy...to smile again.
We struggle with our faith.
Then, to top it all off, we struggle with our faith. During these times, we find it difficult to trust God. We do not sense his presence. Doubt fills our hearts. And, for some of us, we question if there really is a God.
So, what do we do during our struggles? How do we make it? I wish there were some magical answers that would make all things better today. But there are none. However, here are some encouraging words if you find yourself struggling today.
You Are Allowed To Struggle
For some of us, we feel bad about struggling. We feel we should not struggle. We feel guilty for struggling. Because we are struggling, we feel God is disappointed in us...disappointed in us because of our lack of faith. But struggling is a normal part of life. God understands where we are and allows us to go through this season of life. Now, we must allow ourselves to go through this season of struggle without condemning ourselves for not being who we think we ought to be. God's not condemning us (Romans 8:1). Let's not condemn ourselves.
You Are Not Alone
I find encouragement from those in the Bible. The Bible includes men and women of God who went through seasons of struggle such as Elijah, Moses, Naomi, Sarah, and Jeremiah One of these Biblical figures is David. David is described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. Yet, David had his highs and lows, good days and bad days, successes and failures. There were days when he doubted God's presence and provision. Then there were days when he praised God. Here is a man after God's own heart who had his struggles, just like we do. Read through the book Psalms sometimes for a glimpse into David's very own struggles.
I wish we could always be upbeat, feeling good, and looking to the future with great expectation. But, as we look into God's word, we see people like David who went through seasons of struggle. Struggles just like us. You are not alone. We all have our struggles as David did. If it makes you feel any better, Acts 13:10 says that David fulfilled God's purpose in his life. It may be hard for you to believe it now...but you will too. You will fulfill God's purpose for your life!
You Are Loved, Forgiven, And Accepted
Those feelings of failure you are struggling with leave you feeling unloved, unforgiven, and unaccepted. But the good news is God loves you! Through your faith in Jesus, you have been forgiven and made righteous or have become completely acceptable before him through Jesus. You are loved, forgiven, and accepted! If you haven't come to faith in Jesus, today you can.
You Can Talk With Someone
One of the things we are tempted to do when we are struggling is to remain silent. However, the one thing we don't want to do is the very thing we need to do...talk with someone. Find someone you can talk with. Make sure this person is a healthy person. One who will listen to you. One who will love you. And, if possible, someone who can help you or point you in the right direction for help.
You Can Grow
We may not be able to do much about what we are going through now. There may be many areas that are out of our control. There may be people who are out of our control. But we can grow. We can learn much about life from God's word, a good Christian book, or a wise person. Sometimes we become so focused on how we feel and how things are that we remain stuck. One of the ways to get unstuck is to focus on growing rather than getting better. As we grow, an amazing thing happens, we start feeling better.
You Will Smile Again
You will make it through these struggles and smile again. The Bible says he turned my mourning into dancing, my ashes into beauty. Job, another person in the Bible who went through his season of suffering, was someone whose mourning was turned into dancing and ashes into beauty. There were times he wondered if he would ever smile again. He had his doubts and fears. But, eventually, he did smile again. He went from suffering and struggling to smiling. And you will too!
You Will Help Others
Once you come out of your struggle, you will be able to help others in theirs. You will have a greater sense of empathy for them. You will be a great source of comfort and encouragement for them.