jesusoncross

What is your struggle?  Face it.  We all have one…or two…or three…or maybe your best friend has a gazillion and she likes to talk about them all…all the time!

Seriously now, what is your struggle?

You can pretend you don’t have one.  You can put on your makeup, your big smile, laugh and joke like everything is fine when your out in public, but at night when the lights are out and you’re all alone in your bed, what invading army of thoughts march through your mind and set your heart to racing?

This struggle within you is why you drink too much, why you need to pop some pills, why you never want to be alone with yourself, why you have that live in girl friend, why you smoke, why you go from bed to bed, why you see a Psychiatrist, why you take pain pills, why you work day and night…anything to keep your mind from thinking about that thing you struggle with.

What is that thing, that one thing that makes you break out in a cold sweat?

After all, people might not like you if they knew you were molested by your uncle when you were an eight year old boy.  They wouldn’t understand.  You don’t even understand it.  You can’t make sense of it.  Maybe something is wrong with you that someone would want to abuse you in that way.   People wouldn’t understand if they knew you had an abortion when you were fourteen years old.  They wouldn’t get it that you were taken advantage of by a neighbor who lived down the street.  And hey, what would your mother think about her boy who looks at pornography on his computer every time he has a chance?  She wouldn’t understand that the teenage boy who lived next door to them when he was growing up introduced it to him when she went grocery shopping.  Maybe your father told you as child you would never amount to anything and today at sixty years old, you’re still trying to prove him wrong.

Struggles…we all have them.  Even great men of God in the Bible had them, you know…or maybe you don’t know, but they absolutely did.

Take for example, David.  The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart.

After removing Saul, he made David their king.  God testified concerning him.  ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’  Acts 13:22 NIV

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband murdered to cover up his sin.  Pretty bad guy, right?  David was divorced.  They took his first wife, Michal, away from him and gave her to another man.  His daughter was raped.  His son rose up against him. But David loved God with all his heart.  David messed up.  He was far from perfect, but he loved God and God knew it.  God loved David’s heart because David loved God’s heart.

Another example of a man with a struggle, was Jacob, in fact, Jacob’s life began with a struggle.  As a twin the womb with Esau, he fought for position and was born grasping his brother’s heel.  Jacob’s name even means, “he deceives” read Genesis 25:26.  When his mother, Rebekah, asked God during her pregnancy what was happening, He told her there were two nations within in her womb that would become divided.  One would be stronger than the other, and the older would serve the younger.  You can read this in Genesis 25:23.

Esau was a good hunter and his father’s favorite while Jacob was a more quiet, “stay-at-home” type.  Jacob was his mother’s favorite.  This favoritism would follow the family into the next generation.  Favoritism is not good and can cause emotional problems.  This Biblical family was most certainly dysfunctional, just as many families are today.

If you read more about this family, you will see that Rebekah devised a plan to deceive her husband Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of Esau.  It was traditional for the father to bless the eldest son, which would have been Esau, but because of Rebekah’s devious plan, Isaac mistakenly blessed Jacob instead. Esau vowed he would kill Jacob for this, so Jacob was afraid of Esau.  He knew he had wronged Esau and stolen from him.

Later Jacob has to face Esau and he’s afraid.  You too must face your Esau…or rather, your struggle.  The sooner you face it, the better.  Twenty years has passed since the brothers had seen each other.  The memory of Esau’s threat to kill him had never left him.

What memories threaten your mind?

Jacob sends messengers ahead with gifts, instructing them to tell Esau he is coming.  On this night Jacob experiences the greatest highlight of his life when he wrestles with a man whom he later discovers is God.  During this wrestling match he is blessed by God and given the new name of “Israel.”  Jacob becomes a new man and to his relief, the reunion with Esau is a warm one.

Again, what is your struggle?  Whatever it is, be honest with yourself and with God.  Ask God to help you.  He will!  In times of trouble and when you’re afraid of the outcome, like Jacob, just humbly call on God.  God wants to bless you too!

No, you’re not perfect, no one is…but God loves you anyway.  He knows your secret struggle.  He wants to relieve you of that burden your carrying.  He wants to make a new man, or woman out of you.

Therefore is any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.  II Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Yes, the struggle is real that’s within you, but the struggle was real on Calvary’s cross when Jesus died for your sins.  Give up the struggle today.  The battle is over.  Jesus won the victory!

The Voice

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