The question is…does the Christian life have to be one of such great struggle all the time? And the answer: No!
No, it doesn’t have to be such a struggle all the time. That is not to say there will be no adversity, trials or temptations. But, inasmuch as the struggle is an internal quality, it is not, of necessity, endemic to the Christian experience.
You see, for the Christian, the struggle always boils down to a single question embodying several facets – the question of surrender. God has already said that He would take care of our every need. Our salvation is already assured in Christ. Jesus already promised us peace, joy, fulfillment…Purpose is already infused into our existence. All those things that we struggle about in our Christian walk are already guaranteed. You name it; we’ve already got it!
So why the struggle?
Well, sometimes I don’t like what God is telling me to do because it doesn’t fit with my own plans. You know, it can be difficult to let go and simply trust that God will take care of things. Other times, I have a hard time just accepting that there’s nothing “I” need to do, all I have to do is accept the peace/salvation God gives as a gift. And there are times when experiences of disappointment with people I’d trusted cause me to doubt God’s faithfulness.
At the end of the day, for whatever reason, we find ourselves struggling to live out our professions of Christianity. And so continues the Christian struggle. But have you noticed that the moment you stop struggling against God, and surrender, it’s smooth sailing?
The moment you choose to trust that God won’t let you down like so many others have in the past…the moment you let go of your self-sufficiency and choose to rely on God’s strength…the moment you submit to God’s plan for your life, trusting His wisdom above your own or that of your family or community… In the moment of surrender is found the peace Christ promised for His followers.
There was Paul, kicking against the pricks, fighting the conviction that there was something to this Christianity thing. Jesus comes to him on the road to Damascus and asks him to surrender. Quit fighting, stop struggling, and surrender to God, and there is where you’ll find peace.
The Christian’s experience does not have to be one of struggle after struggle: If we had a heart surrendered to God at all times, in all circumstances, our souls would know only rest. The sooner we surrender, the sooner we find peace.