The struggle within is real. As a Christian we waver back and forth between worry and truth. Between fear and courage.
It’s easy to choose truth when God is answering our prayers and life is grand. It’s easy to choose courage when we’ve had few reminders or setbacks and everything is going as planned.
But it’s a lot harder to choose truth when you find yourself in the midst of challenging times.
When you are lying awake in bed recalling all that you should’ve done, could’ve done or said.
When you lost your job and you have bills to pay and tummies to fill.
When your dreams have hit a brick wall.
Hope In Our Struggle With Worry Versus Believing the Truth
I usually get annoyed with myself when I’m faced with the my struggle with worry and believing the truth of the situation. If you could hear my self-talk it would sound something like this–
Really I can’t believe I am here again. How long have I been a Christian? Goodness we were even missionaries. Here I am letting my fleeting thoughts take me down dark paths. Where I doubt my God will provide, my Father will protect and my shepherd will lead me.
But this is what we have to remember so listen closely to this before you beat yourself up again.
This struggle you find yourself in is happening because you are a child of God and the enemy loves for us to doubt our God. This struggle is called temptation and it’s merely an opportunity for you to choose Him. Every time you choose Truth, you choose Him and you become stronger inside.
There is hope!
Having the struggle or temptation doesn’t make you a sinner. You will be tempted many times a day with various things whether it’s fear, jealousy, doubt, lust, dishonesty, pride, hate, worry…
As a Christian we all face temptation and challenges in our life, that’s the reality.
You face this challenge not because you are a wavering Christian or immature Christian. It’s actually quite the opposite, the fact that you are wrestling with this conundrum shows that you are His child. Don’t feel guilty for struggling or having a temptation.
God gives us promises as anchors for our faith. He knows we have doubts and anxiety. The promises are there, backed by His power and character, to strengthen us when the enemy comes. Over time, as our faith develops, it is not the promise we focus on but the Promiser. ~Tom Yeakley
The enemy is out prowling around ready to devour us so his goal is to give you as many challenges and temptations as he can.
You are faced with this conundrum because you are a child of God.
We are constantly faced with the struggle
to choose between worry or truth.
Fear or courage.
What matters is what we choose to act on.
So What Do We Do With Temptation
So what do we do with temptation? We run from it. We flee! Which basically means we try to stay away from things that trigger the desire to worry, feel jealous, lust, lie…
There was a time in my college years when I would feel lonely and I would go to my dorm room and play music that made me sad. Yes, is this just me or can anyone relate.
I purposely watched movies that reminded of what I was missing out on. If I could tell my younger self one thing I would say something very simple to myself,
The more we feed our fear, the bigger it gets!
I had to intentionally choose to stay away from the “food” that fed my fears. I had to choose to not entertain the thoughts of doubt, worry or fear the minute they popped into my head.
Oh and there was that time when we were in the middle of an international move and entering a new culture with a teenager and tween. The fact my son would attend a public middle school was a bit daunting for me. Call them irrational but I was concerned about a myriad of things like what he would be exposed to, will he get bullied, will his teachers understand him, will he be a leader of kindness, will he make good friends….
Around this time there was a Netflix show that started up and it was about teens and all the awful stuff they were doing and how they were hurting each other. I watched about 3 or 4 episodes of that show but around the 2nd episode I realized it made me anxious. After watching an episode my worry would triple and I had a hard time falling asleep because I was thinking through every awful scenario I had just watched.
When I realized this, I had a choice to make–Will I sit here and continue watching this show that fills my mind with worry and is robbing me of my sleep? Or will I cease watching this show or for that matter any show that feeds my worry?
I stopped. Quickly after I stopped watching the show I found that it was easier to fall asleep, I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep because of the various possible scenarios playing over and over in my head.
I don’t know what you’re tempted with when you worry nor what contributes to your temptation but what I do know is that we have control over what we feed our minds and heart. I also know that we don’t have to fight this temptation alone. He tells us in His word, to submit ourselves, to Him. Resist the devil, and he will flee from us. James 4:7
I know, you’re rolling your eyes at me and mumbling something like “Easier said than done!” But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it is impossible. I am here to tell you that some days it’s easier than others. And sometimes it takes tears, panic-stricken moments for me to go to my Father who has been waiting all along for me to verbalize my feelings of worry, concern, hurt, pain so He can comfort me.
Choose Truth. Choose Courage.
What Happens When we Fall Into the Trap
Sometime you may find that in the midst of the hard you are hanging on strong to the Lord and His promises. Then one day something hits you and you discover a new layer of unbelief that needs to be surrendered to Him. So like the Father who wanted his son healed in Mark 9:24 we echo his prayer, “I believe help my unbelief!”
Our merciful Father knows we will struggle but you will never face condemnation in His voice. If you hear that in your heart and mind please listen closely to me– it’s not from God. He does’t speak condemnation over us instead He sings over us and reminds us that He is our strength in the midst of the struggle. He reminds us that in Him there is forgiveness and victory.
In Psalms 73:26 it says, “My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
So, let us be quick to repent when we find ourselves choosing fear over faith, doubt over trust, self-reliance over seeking Him, and worry over prayer. Don’t sit there and wallow in self-pity because that only pushes you down deeper into the pit of worry and fear.
He Came Full of Grace and Truth
In John 1:14 it says
“The Word became flesh…” He knows what we are going through.
“He dwells among us…” we are not alone and He is with us.
“He came full of grace and truth…” we can have access to His grace and truth all the time.
Lord, may we look to you and only you, may we open up our arms, our minds and hearts to receive the abundance of your grace and truth. I believe help my unbelief. Amen