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Inside: What is the purpose of struggles? Why am I having such a hard time in my life? 5 tips to help you when life is one big struggle?

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Are you going through something hard, friend?

Maybe you are struggling right now.

Or perhaps you just got out of a struggle.

Of course, you could be heading into a struggle!

The truth of the matter is: Life is a continual source and season of tough times!

Struggles in Life?

Why do we act surprised at this?

Maybe it’s because everything inside of us screams this isn’t fair.

I mean if you’re an evil person then it’s karma to have bad things happen, but for the rest of us, we expect our lives to be better and a little less difficult! Especially if we are Christians, we anticipate it to be better!

I’ve written about this topic a few times before, but I haven’t mastered this concept yet. Do we ever master it?

It seems like every new conflict brings me to having to go back and reread what the Bible says about life being hard.

I must be a slow learner, but in reality, maybe this is life-long teaching.

Here’s the foundational truth: God tells us to expect problems. They are the highway to get us to the destination God has for us to become the people He can already see.

The Power of Pain

Nothing brings about change as much as pain does.

The question to ask is: Do I want to be the best worldly me? Or the best God wants me to be?

Here’s a clue: God knows more about us than we know about ourselves.

According to Jeremiah 29:11, He has plans for us which include hope and a future.

So doesn’t it make sense to trust and hand over our problems, worries, tension, etc. to the Holder of Creation? The wisdom of ages who has this good future already planned versus trying to wing it?

My Struggle Story

Let me share with you a personal story:

For 5 years, I struggled with anxiety, sleep issues, and bouts of depression. I spent the entire time going down rabbit trails trying to find a cure. So much money spent trying this and that.

Sure, I’d pray and say a few godly things and maybe even get in my Bible, but I kept control and direction.

I didn’t get very far in those 5 years. I was still stuck if not worse.

In 2015, I came to a crossroads. I felt God leading me to blog.

I thought it was crazy and just kept feeling the nudges till 2016.

It didn’t make sense. I didn’t want to.

Finally, I got to the point where I couldn’t just ignore it. Mind you, I was still struggling intensely with anxiety, sleep, and depression.

I took the step and started typing.

Looking back, those words weren’t from me but Him. I left control to Him.

The honest truth is: I’d still like to grasp it back but the last 4 years things have been looking up for me. I’m not stuck in that struggle any longer.

Now, don’t hear me wrong, many struggles have appeared, and I’ve mulled through them. But that particular struggle has gotten better because I’ve learned that the struggle can become a service.

Do I want to go back to that time? Heck no, but I see how much I’ve grown through my pain and tough time.

What Can We Learn from King Jehoshaphat

King Jehoshaphat was a godly King and worked to bring the Israelites back to God.

He worked through princes, priests, and prophets to teach the people God’s commandments! So as you can see, King “Jeho” was a good guy!

And even though he was a good person, God allowed some trouble to brew in his life.

(2 Chronicles 20:1-2, MSG).

20 1-2 Some time later the Moabites and Ammonites, accompanied by Meunites, joined forces to make war on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat received this intelligence report: “A huge force is on its way from beyond the Dead Sea to fight you. There’s no time to waste—they’re already at Hazazon Tamar, the oasis of En Gedi.”

Enemies coming toward “Jeho” and his subjects, I don’t know about you but this was a huge life or death problem.

If we read on, what does “Jeho” do? Get out your Bible and follow along as I list some tips from 2 Chronicles on what to do when we are in a struggle in life!

5 Things to Do When Life is One Big Struggle

  1. Go to God in prayer! This should be our first action, but yet many times it’s our last resort! Think back to your last struggle… who did you go to for advice, wisdom, or encouragement?
  2. Focus on God by fasting or other targeted-centered activity. The Israelite nation banded together. Can you enlist friends or family to laser-focus on praying for you?
  3. Remember God’s past track record. Read the stories of the Bible. See how God came through for those in the Bible. Read the stories of missionaries!
  4. Realize the battle is God’s. “You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the Lord give you victory. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the Lord will be with you”(2 Chronicles 20:17 GNT)! Be secure in faith!
  5. Praise God for the expectant victory! Rick Warren says to “say thank you after something has happened is gratitude. To say thank you before anything has happened is faith!”

Once we can accept that struggles and seasons of pain can be the best teachers for us. We can reach out to God in greater ways during these seasons to ask God not only to help us overcome but to instill the lessons in us.

Ultimately, we want to grow and be more Christ-like, and if we allow God to use these lessons and ask for His help to intentionally change, these seasons won’t knock us down as much!

“I never lose. I either win or learn.” ~Nelson Mandela

To learn more about this topic, see these other posts:

6 Bible Verses For Strength When Life is Hard

 

3 Obstacles Why Following God is so Hard

How God is the Best Way in a Hard Time

Or to hear my overcoming story: click here