When we face struggle

REM said it this way… ‘Everybody hurts…sometimes.’  There is truth to that line, not because REM sang it, but because it reflects a Biblical truth.  That in this life, one theme is suffering and struggle.  Now, this blog post is already getting you excited, huh?!  🙂

But the reality of life is that it is not always roses, care bears and butterflies.  And that is not news to anyone.  There are seasons of struggle.  A struggle against an ongoing sin.  A struggle in marriage.  A struggle in parenting.  A struggle with a past hurt.  A struggle with addiction. When we face ‘struggle’, we are sometimes tempted to believe one or more of the following four lies.

Keep in mind lies have one source.  The devil…our spiritual enemy.  Lies are the only language the enemy knows how to speak (John 8:44).  So, let’s work through these four lies using the context of a marriage that is struggling, but in reality, you can apply these four lies to most areas of struggle.

Lie 1 – “It will get better on its own”

When you have an infection in your body, it doesn’t get better on its own.  It needs care, treatment, and an antibiotic.  Often when we simply ignore a physical ailment, it only leads to great infection or disease.  We can stick our head in the sand, but when we pull our head back out, the infection will still be there.  When our hearts are struggling, it will not get better on its own.  It needs care and treatment.  When your marriage is hurting, it won’t just magically get better with time.  It will need an intentional focus in order to lead to healing.

Lie 2 – “We need to fix this on our own”

Our pride will often whisper this one.  The enemy loves to try and isolate us and move us away from the ‘pack.’  Because away from the pack is where the wolf or predator loves to attack.  So when our marriage hits struggle and difficulty, we think to ourselves, ‘we need to fix this on our own.’  And so we sometimes find ourselves simply looking at each other hoping the other will take the first step, or they will figure out what to do next.  Typically we say that we need to fix this on our own because we have a sense of shame about the struggle we’re facing.  Which leads to the next lie…

Lie 3 – “No one else would understand”

We think that we’re the first ones to ever walk through this particular struggle or challenge.  As if our experience is completely unique to the human experience, let alone, the people we do life with in the local church.  All I can say is you’re wrong.  Your experience is not some sort of loophole, that no one else has walked through.  God has designed the Body of Christ to minister to and care for one another.  This is where the healing takes place.  In the context of relationships is where we experience God’s grace, and understand that we are not alone.  Finally…

Lie 4 – “God is not big enough”

I would say this is the most detrimental lie that we believe when we face struggle.  We assume that God is not big enough, great enough, powerful enough, loving enough to bring us through the struggle.  That the obstacle before us is too great for Him.  Keep in mind, our God created this world, beat death, etc.  We might even believe all of that in our minds, but have a sense that God has forsaken us personally, or that we have strayed too far from His reach.  Again, I want to lovingly encourage you that you’re wrong.  He is more than able.

Ephesians 3:20-21:  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What is your next step in the midst of your struggle?  What lie are you believing right now?