The Benefits of Struggle (by Gary Roberts)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

Overcoming obstacles is what develops in us the qualities we need to fulfill God’s will for our lives. The truth is it can’t happen any other way. Paul spells out in 2 Corinthians 1 the benefits of going through hard times. Believe it or not there are actually benefits in our struggles.

Let’s look at a few of them. First is the idea that we will be able to comfort those who find themselves in affliction. When people know we’re qualified to speak, they listen. Otherwise, they politely tune us out. Built into every problem is the opportunity for us to grow.

We may even be able to come up with an answer someone may need because we’ve been there. When we can say, “I have been there,” people respect that and listen. Experience is one of our greatest assets and God will use it when we are willing to grow from our struggles.

Second is so that we would not trust in ourselves. Anything that causes us to turn to God and lean harder on God is an asset, not a liability. It’s when we lose a job, a marriage, a loved one, our health, or our peace of mind that we turn to God and discover what God can do.

When we put God first the first thing when we awaken, when we worship God and take time to bow before God, God will lift us up. If in the midst of our struggles we seek the Lord it’s there that we discover victory.

And third so that thanks may be given. Do you remember what your life was like before you met the Lord? The Psalmist wrote: He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock. So let us lift up our voice and praise God for what God has done for us. If we think about it where would we be without God? It doesn’t bear thinking about – does it?

Someone said that we should seek the Lord as if we are desperate all of the time and then we won’t have as many desperate times in our lives. Jeremiah 17 reminds us that victory is having peace and joy in the midst of our struggles. Remember God is pleased with us because we have put our faith in God’s Son Jesus.

Let us pray: Lord Your unfailing love keeps me going in the midst of my struggles. When I focus on my struggles I become useless to myself and anyone else but in the midst of my struggles when I focus on You they don’t seem to matter as much – they lose their importance and before long they lose their hold on me and I come out victorious – I don’t know how to explain it but I do know a little faith goes a long way. Thank You for not giving up on me when everyone else seems to have done so. I offer this in the Name of the one who always saw victory in the struggles of life – Jesus. Amen.

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