“Struggles…”

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  – Lamentations 3:22-23

 

Have you ever done something that you really regret?  I have.  More than once.  I have done things, both intentionally and unintentionally, that have hurt others.  Heck, I have even done things that have hurt myself, knowing the outcome before even doing it.  But I was unable to stop myself for some reason.

It seems to me, that in spite of all my education and religion, I am still just a created being led pretty much by my desires instead of my intellect.  I seem to remember the Apostle Paul being in the same situation.

“I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.” – Romans 7:22-23

I struggle with all sorts of things.  How about you, what is it that you can’t quite break free from?  What is it that is a threat to your life, your peace, your relationships?

Of course I can’t afford it, but I want ____________, so I spend money I don’t have.

Yes, it is wrong to say _________________ and hurt his feelings, but I am angry and justified in the way I feel.  So I say what I think.

Absolutely I know that associating with that person will lead me down the wrong path, but something deep inside me wants to go anyway.  So I join them, but just this once…

 

Whether a small one-time offense, or living an entire lifestyle that we regret, I believe we all have things that we wish we hadn’t done.  Because the fact is, we are all fallen, we are all sinners, and try as hard as we can – none of us are perfect.  That is a pretty bleak picture isn’t it friends? Knowing that no matter how hard we try, we will ultimately end up failing.

But there is good news for those of us who believe in the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.  And it isn’t just some far-off notion of forgiveness one day in heaven.  There is good news for us today, friends.  His mercies are new every morning.  Do you understand?  That today can be a new day.  Today can be the day that we are set free from whatever it is that chains us into failure, guilt, and shame.  Today can be the day that we start over.

All we have to do is ask for some help.  Jesus is there, waiting to pick us up and to give us a new life.  Don’t get me wrong, changing our nature is not easy.  It is near to impossible.  And that is why we fail most often, because we are trying under our own power to change.

But if we really want to be successful, we need to get rid of our “self attitude.”  We can’t rely on ourselves, can we?  At least, it has never worked for me.  Instead, we have ask the Holy Spirit to fill us – to lead us in the right direction, to change our attitudes, our hearts and our desires.  And, if you are like me, I have to ask Him to do that every single day.  Once is not enough.  Every morning I have to ask for that compassion He offers, and allow Him to take control of my thoughts and actions.  This is the only way to create lasting change in our lives, friends.  And it is always a change for the better.  It just requires letting go of some pride.  And that is my biggest obstacle.  Admitting that I can’t control myself is a hard blow.  But it is a lot better than the alternative of bad decisions isn’t it?

Lord,

Thank You for Your mercies, that flow abundantly over us each day.  We all have struggles of some sort.  And I pray today that we would not be defeated by them.  I pray today that, in all humility, we would allow Your precious Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us in our fight against our own tendencies to do harm.  Renew our hope, this day, that we can overcome those desires that cause destruction in our lives.  And mold us into Your own image, that we might testify to Your faithfulness and redemption.

In the name of the Son we pray,

Amen

This is one of my favorite songs.  It is a powerful reminder that Jesus never leaves us in times of struggle.  Be blessed and encouraged today friends.

 

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