Inside: The problem is my expectations when difficulty comes and doesn’t let up, I find myself being discouraged. How do I live out this Christian life? I suck at being a Christian.
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I spent a month in the New Year struggling with insomnia. There was no sleep at all, not at night or during the day. I’d lay down and toss and turn all night.
After 48 hours of not sleeping, I went to see my doctor.
She did help me with sleep medication, but the struggle for sleep for over a month caused some other health problems. My anxiety kicked in because I didn’t think I would be able to fall asleep without sleep medication.
All I can say is I have taken sleep for granted in the past. It’s a huge blessing to be able to sleep at night.
Are you struggling with something right now? I pray you’re not, but somehow I know something is making life difficult right now, or it was yesterday, or it will be.
How do I know this?
Because God tells us life will be difficult.
Christianity lived to the fullest involves struggle. ~Matt Nelson
I don’t know about you, but acknowledging this is a real downer. I dislike difficult, hard things and pain, and I can’t bring myself to roll out the welcome mat and invite them in. Nor am I excited they have graced me with their presence.
Who embraces difficulty?
I used to think being a Christian should be easy. I expected that was how it worked. It seemed logical if I was following the Creator of the Universe, who is omnipotent, He would make my life a cakewalk.
What about you, did you realize being a Christian would be such unrelenting hard work?
I assumed when problems would come, my Heavenly Father would extinguish them before they got to me. I imagined I could just enjoy the good life while He did all the work.
What I don’t understand is: if God believes rest is important, why was sleep so hard to come by for that 6 weeks? I’ve asked God this question multiple times and still without an answer.
The problem with my expectations is when difficulty remains and it’s not letting up, I find myself being discouraged, despondent and despairing.
Why doesn’t God come through for me?
How Do I Live: Expect Difficulty
Most of us are familiar with the story of Job in the Bible. Job was a rich, believing man. He lived a good life, but he was struck with difficulty after difficulty. He never wavered in his faith. Job is the model we should be following when our own lives are hit with a problem.
8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
9 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence (Job 1:8-12, NLT).
Satan ended up taking everything from Job. His family, livestock and his health. The last verse in this chapter says Job didn’t sin by blaming God for all his loss.
Can I be honest, I blame God. Many nights in December, I would pour out my heart to God and lie awake until morning. I did a lot of finger-pointing and blaming. A few weeks of a struggle, and I’m a sucky Christian.
9 Truths When You Go through a Struggle
- God is still in control.
- Satan doesn’t have free reign over us.
- God limits the degree that Satan can cause problems.
- The struggle provides an opportunity for greater faith and a deeper relationship with Him.
- This difficulty will accomplish God’s purpose.
- The devil is the only one who fills us with doubt, discouragement, and despair. Watch for these 3 Ds.
- God will work it out for our good.
- This hard time will lead us to a free and blessed life (difficulties will still be present).
- The process prolongs when we fight the struggle in our human ways,
My New Expectations
As for my sleep, it did eventually come, and I have been sleeping like a log since without any kind of sleep aid.
As I look back, I was able to grow in my relationship with Him. This time frame caused me to find refuge in God. He did answer me, not in my time frame, but in His.
Instead of trusting He had it all planned out, the process prolonged because I searched for answers and solutions.
Those weeks of feeling unheard actually caused my faith to grow stronger. I think I’ve looked at this Christian life all wrong, maybe struggle after struggle is what I need to be the best Christian I can be.
I’m confidently accepting another struggle is up ahead, but I can anchor myself to the truths God gives me in the Bible. He won’t let me down.
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