Struggle-WithinShould I Stay or Should I Go? Remind you of a song? Yup.. The song was written and recorded by English punk rock band the Clash in 1981. How perfect a name for a post about Struggling. The clash of being good or evil. The clash to do bad when you really just want to be good. The song says, “if I go there will be trouble. If I stay there will be double. Oh how those words ring true in a Christian life.

Never did I think that being a Christian would be so difficult. I was under the belief that everything would be bright and beautiful. Little did I know it would be more difficult then before. Before it didn’t matter.

If you read my last post, you know that I have been struggling with my good old friend depression again. Most of it was brought on by another evil friend of mine. Sin. The uncontrolled selfish sinful side of my life called lust, desire, temptation and giving in. I prayed and prayed for God to take the desire away from me to no avail. Why couldn’t God just give this one to me? Why is this sin constantly in my head. Why won’t He just take the desire away from me?

For the last few weeks I have been going through this tug-of-war with my self and God. Not wanting God, but knowing I need Him. Loving God but being so angry with Him. Wanting to walk away from God, but wanting more of Him. Believing that Jesus died for the sin of everyone….but mine. I was riddled yet again with guilt, failure, disappointment and the fear of lost salvation. I truly believed that God had left me, that He didn’t care for me and could care less about my prayers or concerns.

Then I saw these words on another bloggers page, “God responded to me. Why would I spare you trials in this life, if I didn’t even spare my own son”. Now I feel like a complete idiot.

It’s so true how deep down inside of us we know that, but our brain and our heart don’t connect the data and we end up being all muddled. We as humans are born into a sin nature and it’s just in our blood to want to do those things that are bad for us. As crazy as it seems, if your sin bothers you.. That’s good. You admit you need to be saved from it.

Just as Paul says in the bible

Romans 7.15-20God also strangely brought me back in to Romans Chapter 7 which our home group just studied, and how perfectly that I am leading Chapter 8 in home group next week. Isn’t it strange how I was led to lead this chapter, as it spoke so directly to me in this very moment of my life.

Nothing good we do can make God love us any more, and nothing bad we do can ever make God love us any less. Hardships, persecutions, famines and dangers will come, but in Romans, Paul says, that these sufferings do not in any way imply that God’s love has fled.

So here’s the thing… There is only one reason I became and remain a Christian.

It isn’t because its a cure for depression, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, anger, lust, sex, on and on. Although, I do thank God for taking some of these away from me instantly over night and never having gone back. One day, all these scars we earn here, will be treasured like medals in heaven.

I am a Christian because I believe in God. I always have. I just had the bible interpreted to me all wrong in the past. I believe the word of God. I believe in Jesus Christ. Not as just a prophet or a messenger, but as the true savior. The one and only person who saves us from our sin. The one and only; through whom we go to receive the eternal reward. Because I choose to have faith & believe that thru him and only thru him do we get to heaven.

John 14.6I know what people say about the Bible. How can you believe the Bible when it states that slavery is okay. Incest was okay. That you shouldn’t eat this or that. You shouldn’t wear this or that.. this is right when it should be wrong. This is wrong when it should be right. Evolution versus Creation. We could go on for days.

People often take the bible out of context. They take on a scripture or a chapter and misconstrue it to fit their own ridiculous agenda. The bible has to be read in whole and wholly understood.

The truth of the matter is, we struggle. That’s just the way it is. The nature that we were born into. It always is and always will be, until the return of Jesus himself to make it all the way it was to be. And now that we are Christian, we are more aware of our sin and because we are more aware of it, we struggle more with it, then we would as non-believers.

Here are a quite a few things to ponder when you hit the struggle to continue in faith.

There are over forty verses in the New Testament that specifically emphasize the death of Jesus “for us”, in the place of us, as a substitute for us. Here are just a few to ponder:

while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [Romans 5:8]
Christ suffered for us [1 Peter 3:18]
Jesus was a propitiation for our sins [1 John 4:10]
This is my body/blood given for you [Luke 22:20]
God made him who had no sin, become sin for us [2 Corinthians 5:21]
Christ became a curse for us [Galatians 3:13]
Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all [1 Timothy 2:6]
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us [Ephesians 5:2]
By the grace of God he might taste death for us [Hebrews 2:9]
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world [1 John 2:2]

God is completely for us, and so not against us. We will groan in agony at how wretched we are, but with faith and hope in what’s to come, our Savior Jesus Christ rubs our bodies and our wounds with his blood, washing it away and washing us clean, forgetting our sin, clothing us in white and calling us heirs to His thrown.

These struggles are difficult as we go through them, and how fast we forget (I have even blogged about it before) that in the end, our struggle make us stronger. Why is that?

Because our struggles cause us to be humble. To kneel down and ask for forgiveness. To pray for more of God. To thank him for all he has done and will do in our lives, and most of all to thank Him for loving us so much that he didn’t even spare his own child to die for us.

Besides.. this is not all about us. It’s all about the Glory of God.

God’s affection and actions for us precede any response we offer. They are not conditioned on our being for him. God’s gifts are given without conditions or strings attached. That is Grace, and having tasted the the Lord is good, we will willingly want to give our all to him.

We have a great God to love, and we have a great cause to love God.