By Beth Winze
“The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is.” ~ Robert H. Schuller
When Christ calls us to Him, He does not just ask for certain parts of our hearts, but instead He asks us to give up everything we have to Him. Being a Christian is not just a title, but rather a life-style. Christianity is not throwing a “thank-you God” in the end of a Grammy acceptance speech, but it is how you lived before getting that Grammy award that defines your claim. A common misconception among believers is the fact that once you accept Christ’s gift of salvation and live for Him, all your struggles disappear or become so insignificant they are mere potholes you can easily avoid. But on the contrary, these struggles seem to be emphasized after becoming a Christian. This is not a way to blame God for struggles whatsoever, but if God did not allow us to struggle through life, who would really prove they desired to live for Him? Struggles can be confining and make a Christian feel chained and incapable of escape, but Christ wouldn’t allow His children to be chained up and left for the wolves. When He sent His Son to earth to die for us, He broke all those chains holding us down. The real struggle is when we allow ourselves to hold onto the chains He has already broken. We aren’t chained to the ground anymore, but in our finite minds, we refuse to let Him take control of the struggles.
Tenth Avenue North, a Christian worship band I adore, has a song titled The Struggle. After purchasing this CD to add to my collection, I really listened to the words that were blasting through my speakers. Throughout their songs they mentioned the word “struggle” several times. I never thought, before listening to their album and some deep-thinking on my part, that it is okay to struggle. I had fallen to the thinking that struggling as a Christian was weak and showed a lack of faith. But one line that they sang in their song really solidified my new thoughts. “Hallelujah we are free to struggle; we aren’t strugglin’ to be free!” In fact, here is the song. The words capture my heart every time I listen to it.
Christians are going to struggle. When someone is determined to live above the burdens and yearnings of the world, they are going to tussle with pressures. It is a lifestyle change not accepted by the world’s standards. Struggling is a natural part of life and an even more natural part of Christianity, but we shouldn’t allow our struggles to chain us to the ground. Satan wants us to believe that we are chained to keep us from drawing closer to Christ. If he can keep our minds enslaved, there is no way for us to move forward. At a retreat this weekend, the speaker stated this simple but pivotal sentence, “When you go to God it doesn’t make your struggles easier, but you have someone to walk through the storm with you.” God sent His Son to die for us because He loves us so much he refuses to watch us continue to be broken by our chains.
Another thing that tends to cause us to struggle is our persistence in dwelling on our pasts. When we run to God, he forgets our pasts, but the Devil consistently offers it back up to us on a silver platter making it look appetizing again. As the speaker, aforementioned, stated this weekend, “When Satan brings up your past, remind him of his past and his rapidly approaching future of desolation.”
“Our chains are gone and we’ve been set free, so Children drop your chains and sing!”