Christianity

I am A Christian and I Still Struggle

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It is often thought of, when a person comes to Christ all of their pain, struggles, doubts, worries, and troubles are over but this my friend is not usually the case. In fact, sometimes the struggles intensifies. The question you may be thinking… How is it, when a person has found salvation and freedom in Christ, they continue to have some of the same struggles they had before Christ?

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He/She is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

When Christ finds a person in their mess, in their sin, in their darkness, He awakens them. In other words, when God calls/brings a person to Him, He is opening their eyes and their hearts to confess of their sins, repent of their sins and seek forgiveness for their sins. God is saving their soul. He is giving birth to a new spirit in them. The person who was once dead to the wicked works of this world is now made alive in Christ. The old sins, the old soul, the old bad decisions, the old mistakes are now dead and behold the newness of God has now come. The question I want to direct our attention to; what is the new that has now come?

Many confuse the new with a brand new life. This is true in a sense. You have a new life in Christ, a new perspective on life, a new hope and a new power inside of you (Holy Spirit). But let us not confuse a new life in Christ for a new life in the day to day. What I mean by this is… For example, and I hope this doesn’t seem extreme. Say a person has been a part of a gang, selling drugs, running the streets tough and then he/she finds Christ. This person has found a new life but at the same time they have to struggle through with their consequences of their former life before Christ. Although we find Christ and we are made anew we still have to deal with the consequences of sin before we found Christ.

That is one example. A familiar example that speaks for the general. Each person that God grants salvation to is redeemed and apart of God’s Kingdom. However, some of the struggles the person was living with before Christ may continue on once the person is with Christ. However, 🙂 the person that has found Christ now has a power in them to keep them, to sustain them, and help them with these struggles. The argument here is, Christians do struggle. However, 🙂 🙂 struggling is not a sin!

Paul, who was once called Saul was a murderer of Christians. When Christ found Him, he was a fierce man, brutal in all of his ways that Christians feared. God gave Saul a mission to go teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many knew Saul and even after God saved him, he was still feared. Christians did not want to be around him and did not trust him. Even as a follower of God, Saul still had to deal with the consequences of his former life before Christ. This was not an over night process for Saul to walk away from the reputation of being a murderer. The same stands for you and I and all those who come to Christ.

Alright, let me bring this to a close. To struggle means to fight, to continue, to strive and to achieve. I may have struggles, they may be hard but this does not mean I am giving into my struggles. The struggles may bring pressure, the struggles may make my life a bit harder but this does not mean I am still living in sin or am I not a Christian. If you remember what Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 12. He mentioned how God had given him a thorn to keep him from boasting, to keep him weak so that He can lean on the power of God. I believe God grants some struggles in our lives so that we can depend on the power of God. My struggles keep me crying out to God, my struggles keep me humble, my struggles remind me of how weak I really am and my struggles remind me God has me in His hand. He will not leave me nor forsake me. His grace is sufficient in my time of weakness! His grace is sufficient in my struggles!

P.S. Christ can deliver people from their struggles when they come to Christ. God works according to His will. The hope of this blog was to address the fact Christians do have struggles and can still struggle once they have come to Christ.

A person in Christ will have struggles. There is no way around it. Our salvation is still in Christ and Christ is greater than our struggles. Amen!?

Please push back. I would love to hear from you. God bless!

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The Gospel Became All About Me

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Me – ology, although this is not a real word we will use it anyway to make a point. Ology, is a branch of knowledge or better known as the study of something. So, putting “Me” in front of “Ology” life becomes all about oneself. Now, lets bring in the Gospel. The Gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, how God sacrificed His only begotten son, so that you and I can be freed from our sin, enter into right standing with God, and one day join Him in Heaven is not just about me, nor is it just about you. In fact, the Gospel is about God’s redemptive work through His Son Jesus. Somehow, we have taken the Gospel message and made it all about ourselves. We have made it all about “me.” And this I am guilty of.

The question now becomes, how does this beautiful Gospel message about love, grace, transformation, sacrifice, serving others, helping others, worshiping God, become bottled up into a self centered perspective? I believe and would suggest it starts with you and I having a self centered world view that my relationship with God is all about me. I am going to be brutally honest with you, it’s not about you. The Gospel is about God’s working through His Son Jesus. I know you may be thinking, I have these problems, I need God for this and that, and I hear you but again the Gospel is more than that.

I will lay this out there. I’ve been passionately walking with God for 10 years now. I have moments and I would say days where it is as though I have my hand out to God. I am sure you remember when you needed money from your parents, you would go, ask and put your hand out. Our relationships with our parents was more of a need based relationship. Meaning what can my parents do for me? At times I believe we treat God and His Gospel the same way. What can God do for me?

Here’s the deal. God’s Gospel transcends past our finite minds, enters into our wicked, sinful and dead hearts and gives us life. Why? It is because God desires to love and choose a certain people to be in relationship with Him. Therefore, let us not forget, God does not have to choose us to be with Him. Let us not turn His passionate Gospel into a “me” gospel. The Gospel should empower us to live out His Name, the Gospel should empower us to represent Him daily in our lives, the Gospel should empower us to share with others about this great love, the Gospel should empower us to stop making God all about us, when it is all about Him.

Let us kill off this me-ology worldview and turn back to our love-ology worldview with God. Let us turn back to the Gospel that is all about God’s great love being poured into His Son Jesus. The Gospel should not stop and be focused on us.

God bless!

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Where Did It All Go Wrong?

 

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Have you ever sat back and analyzed how your life is going and said to yourself, “my life is messed up?” There have been several seasons in my life where I thought to myself, “like how did I even get here?” Some will argue that everything can go wrong in an instance. While this may be true, I believe where life begins to go wrong for us happens over time.

Outside of tragic events that happen in our life, life goes wrong with our day to day decisions, or lack of decisions. The seasons in our life where life seems to be chaotic, out of control, and messy creates for us dark days. What I mean is, during these dark days I would argue many of us emotionally and mentally are in a state of semi-depression. There is this never ending mental and emotional battle going on inside of us. Am I right on this?

Life can be an emotional rollercoaster and it has been for me at times. Being 27 years old, I have learned enough to know that life will not be perfect. Knowing life will not be perfect has created for me space and room for error. I know I am going to make mistakes, I know I am going to mess up, hurt others and not follow through with everything I say. Of course my intentions are not to do any of those things I named but it happens from time to time.

Here’s the deal. Being on an emotional rollercoaster, in a season of darkness, challenged mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually will not change until we say enough is enough. You may be thinking, I already tried this. Okay, I hear you. When you said enough is enough did you apply any action to your words? Did you call someone you can trust to hold you accountable to your efforts to change? Did you continue to follow the same patterns that got you in the place you are in?

When we identify and can list what went wrong, know how and why it went wrong we set ourselves up for creating habits of change. As I mentioned earlier life goes wrong for us overtime. To be honest a lot of the time it goes back to our childhood. The way we grew up, the people we hung around, our parents and the environment in which we resided in. We have to be aware of every input and influence that has been in our life.

“We are a people destined for change. We will become better! We can and will overcome our darkness but first we must realize how we got there.”

I want you to think through instances, circumstances, and events that has happened in your life. Identify everything that has caused emotional, mental, physical and spiritual damage. Write these things down. Think about some practical ways to overcome these battles. Maybe you need to talk with a counselor, a therapist or a pastor. Get the help you need so you can get out of the rut you are in.

Hang in there! Life get’s better. Praying for you my friend!