Struggle is Inevitable, Growth is Optional

Everyone will experience struggle in their life. What we do with it will either cultivate us or stunt us.

In every difficult journey I have faced, something has been revealed in the midst of that storm. It made me stronger, it made me find my strengths. It made me appreciate some things that I might have taken for granted before. It made me use my resources. It always strengthened my faith.

When I find myself in the midst of the storm…usually 2 things are happening. Remember…these are just my thoughts and accounts.

1. There are storms I bring upon myself. Storms that make me vulnerable. Many times it puts me back in a place of humbleness that I should be displaying. I’ve been in places of great comfort and have taken things for granted, only to be figuratively hit in the back of the knees and humbled. God has a distinct way for reminding me that i’ve gotten this far in life not on my own accord. I need Him. I will always need Him. The minute I start taking my success as to build up my own glory, I am quickly reminded I am nothing without God. Every good i’ve ever experienced is from God and it’s to His glory. Not mine.

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. ~ Matthew 23:12

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:3-11

2. Then there are “those” storms. The enemy has brought them upon me and God has approved it because it’s to sharpen me. To mold me. To develop my character. To prepare me for something ahead. We all are born with greatness within us. Specific gifts that if cultivated properly, will prepare us to live a life of greatness under God’s perfect plan for our lives to further His kingdom.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4

In either situation, I have a choice. I can either embrace the trial and realize that they are opportunities, not obstacles. Or I could choose to lay blame for it’s occurrence, act the victim and miss the growth opporutnity. I choose to embrace. To realize that it’s occurrence is for a reason. For my refinement. That God has allowed it for my benefit. To grow me.

So as I sit in the valley and look at the hill before me, I realize that every step that I have to climb is for my transformation to become the person that He has created me to be. Every pain, trial, challenge along the way is not to break me down, but build me up.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28

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