Essentials of Faith: Willing to Struggle

I have to admit, the past couple weeks have been rough. I’m moving into the new house in about a week, but the anticipation of moving in, knowing it’s there but just beyond my fingertips, is worse than not having at all. Now, there’s the anticipation of the move, the stress of coordinating the moving logistics, the pressure of finding the right sofa, the imperative to select the right color scheme. I don’t like details, in fact, I struggle with them mightily because I am a perfectionist, making each minute element into an epic task. As I think about my struggle caused by trivialities, I’m reminded of the necessary struggle that I’ve faced from time to time in my faith journey. And I can’t help but to be reminded how critical that struggle has been in the formation and reformation of my faith. No, this struggle hasn’t been a burden. Couches, well, that’s a different story.

We struggle for what matters

Simply, faith has to matter. And what’s true about every important thing in life: we fight for it. Faith isn’t tested or forged in still waters. Joy and thankfulness, maybe, but faith is tested in times of struggle, when we have little to nothing else to grasp onto. Faith is tested when we have nowhere else to turn, nowhere to run; faith is having no other answer. However, the question isn’t about will we struggle or not, but rather do we want to struggle? In other words, does faith matter?

I can’t answer for you

If you’ve read this far in the post, or moreover this far in the series (Getting Back to the Bare Essentials of Faith and Essentials of Faith: An Open Mind), faith obviously has to mean something to you. I can not, nor will I, attempt to answer the question for you. This you must decide for yourself. I can only tell you that it has literally been the only thing to have gotten me through some of the experiences I’ve had in my life. To reiterate, I would’ve killed myself several years ago were it not for faith. That’s just my story. If that resonates with you, please feel free to contact me via the email on the About page. However, if it doesn’t, there’s nothing I can do to change that.

If you choose faith, you will struggle

Jesus promised His followers they would struggle. In the same breath, He also promised right beforehand that He was peace.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33

You see the promise of struggle. You see that life, one we can assume dedicated to faith as He was speaking only to His disciples, was wrought with trials. What’s more important to note, however is that struggle is sandwiched in between peace and triumph. Before death on a cross and resurrection from the tomb, Jesus triumphantly declared He’d overcome the world. This declaration is no less true for our struggle today than it was around that table so many years ago. We will struggle, but not for nothing. When we struggle, we struggle for everything.

We will not struggle everyday, nor should we, but we need to be ready for when it does come, friends. Faith is important, important enough, to want in spite of struggle. Faith is enough in the midst of our struggle. But, we don’t struggle alone, nor do we struggle meaninglessly. Christ offered peace and promised triumph. We have both of these available to us today and tomorrow, yesterday and forever. Is our struggle too great? Is what we have to lose too much for the Savior? Is He not good enough to merit a little effort to draw nearer to Him? Struggle is up to you.