I wanted to talk about the struggle, because the struggle is real. When I say the struggle, I’m referring to what I call, hard times. We’ve all experienced hard times before. Especially, as a believer…the devil is always attacking you. Your struggle could be lack of shelter, struggling to keep bills paid, marital issues, wayward kids, health issues and more. I’m not talking about things like what you wearing today, what car you driving or what restaurant you eating at. Those don’t represent the struggle most of us are dealing with.
I’m here to remind y’all today that the struggle is a good thing. The struggle is just what you need. As uncomfortable as hard times are, they are necessary. Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying enjoy the struggle. Ain’t nothing entertaining about hard times at all. However, I am saying, embrace the struggle. Embrace difficult situations. Be happy about the fact that you’re about to learn something and be blessed.
How you deal with the struggle determines what the outcome is. You either learn from it and keep it moving or it continues to cause problems for you. If you dealing with the same issues over and over then, you haven’t dealt with it right. The Word of God in James 1:2-8, 12 says this…
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I believe James made pretty clear on how to deal with the struggles of life, or what we tend to call, “hard times”. Verse 2, says…Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
In order to deal with the struggle, you first have to:
Point 1: Be Happy About It.
As crazy as it sounds, its true. The word says count it joy my brothers and sisters. The fact that he said brothers and sisters lets us know he is talking to those of who are believers. He saying, if you believe in Jesus, you should be happy that you are going through struggles of many kinds. So, not the same struggle over and over again, but many different struggles. If you going through all kinds of hard times, get happy about it, cause you on the way to getting blessed
Verse 3 says you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
My second point for struggle management is:
Point 2. Be Patient.
He saying that when you go through test it can help you perservere. What is perserverance? According to Google, perserverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. The word of God is saying be patient and stick to it. It literally says, “your faith produces perserverance”. That means that, the struggle is designed to increase your faith. That why you have to be patient.
Verse 4 says Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Point 3: Be Satisfied.
The word of God is saying that, if you be patient and stick to it, you will be taken care of. It said “mature, complete and not lacking anything”. That means you are being setup to be more experienced, have full understanding and not need anything. We need to let God handle it, and in doing so, he will satisfy all our needs.
Verses 5 and 6 say If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Point 4 is: Pray and Believe.
Look, after you’ve Found Joy in the struggle, after you’ve exercised patience, after you’ve been satisfied, now pray about it and believe the prayer. The word of God says, it will be given to you if you ask and believe that he can give it to you. The scripture used the word “generously”, which indicates he’ll give you more than enough. You just have to ask for it. Too many times, we get caught up in the struggle trying to figure it out on our own. We don’t take the time to stop and ask the Lord for wisdom about what we going through.
Verse 12 says Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him
Point 5: Get Your Breakthrough.
It said, “Blessed is the one who perserveres under trial”. That means if you are going through the hard times and sticking to it, then you are already blessed. Not just that but, there is a reward for you because you believed in him and stuck through the hard times.
Brothers and Sisters, the struggle is real. Hard times are real. Its up to us on how we manage the struggle. We can whine about it, deny it, get mad, run from it and remain in the struggle, since we haven’t dealt with it…or, we can accept it, embrace it, learn from it, get better because of it and keep it moving. The choice is yours…
*Poetic Prophet shared this message on the Lyrical & Spiritual Show Live on Gospel Radio Nation on Thursday, April 7, 2016 @ 6:00pm.