Wrestle with God

I’ve recently been reading through Hebrews. This is an interesting and powerful book to look at, especially where my life is at currently. There’s a ton of unknowns and struggles that I have to face, it can be hard to trust God in the midst of a storm. In Christian culture, it can feel wrong to question what’s going on in our lives, we have this idea that we can never wrestle with our circumstances. That we can’t cry out to God asking him where he is or why he isn’t acting in this situation. Like it’s some sin to struggle. I’ve heard of some Christians looking down on others because they aren’t having enough faith in this situation. Enough faith? We’re supposed to support one another, not look down because we think we’re better than other believers. Jesus wouldn’t want us to pride ourselves on putting our fellow believers down when they were struggling, he would want us to support and love. Why is this even a thought that we have in the first place though? I’ve been feeling down on myself based on this misconception, am I not a “good” Christian because I ask God why he’s doing what he’s doing? The truth is, this is a lie. Hebrews chapter 11 justifies this because it shows people who lived by faith. They were recorded for their great faith, but every single one of them wrestled with God.

My dad and I always laughed at Friday night wrestling. Goofy but fun scripted wrestling, with characters in colorful costumes and the cheesy one liners. That’s not the wrestling I’m speaking of. I’m talking about being able to converse with Christ, and step into the struggles we face. God wants a relationship with us, and every relationship has conflict. Conflict requires communication, a one-sided relationship where you blindly accept it all isn’t a relationship. That’s a religion with no freedom. The chapter in Hebrews highlights people of great faith throughout the bible. People like Noah, who God called to make an ark in order to save life on earth from a coming flood. The thing is, rain wasn’t a thing during Noah’s time, and he had people all around him telling him he was crazy. That’s gotta mess with you, after working for days on this giant boat, I’m sure he was asking God if he was sure about this flood thing or asking if he heard God correctly. Then we have Abraham and Sarah who were promised they would have a child, and generations that numbered the stars. The thing is, it took a really long time, he questioned God and they even tried to take matters into their own hands by having Abe sleep with a servant to get her pregnant. If we go by the earlier paragraph, people might say they didn’t have “enough” faith, yet the bible names them as people who had great faith. We see liars, murderers, prostitutes, and prideful people all named on this list as people who had great faith. We could look at each and see how they must have wrestled with the thing God was doing in their lives. What I want to do today is look at two aspects each of these people possessed in order to then be named as those with great faith. I also want to speak life into your circumstance. It’s important to be real with God. Do you. Don’t try to be super Christian who never worries about the struggles in life. These are the people I feel sad for the most, not only do they lie to others, they lie to themselves. Some of you deal with depression and anxiety, some of you are dealing with a death of someone close, some of you have had to go through a divorce, some of you have suffered addiction and its effects, some of you deal with a daily battle of how you see yourself, and some of you have had to live through suicide or deal with those thoughts. This is for you.

Develop a deep trust.

The thing we can’t do is give up. In those stories of faith, each were called to something big, and even when it was hard to believe and they questioned if God was going to fulfill it, they kept going and trusted God. Noah finished the ark, and Abraham and Sarah were patient (for the most part), but they all had trust. Having faith requires trust, when we pray to God in our situations, it’s okay to ask why it has to be so hard. It’s okay to ask God, why are you doing this? We just can’t give up, we have to press on through the storm. I know it sucks right now. Trust me, I know. The thing is, God is going to fulfill that calling over your life, God is going to use you to change the lives of everyone around you. When you wrestle, God is not your enemy, he fights for you. He sent his son to die for you, your battle is with the enemy and the sinful human side of you. We have to learn to trust God, because while we won’t see it in the moment, this struggle you face is being added to your story. Your story of wrestling through issues in life will strengthen you and help you be a witness to others with similar battles. We need to have a deep trust in the savior of our souls.

Be you and remember God is sovereign.

I’m really not a huge fan of people that hide behind masks. It’s so hard to be authentic when the other person fakes who God made them to be. I guess that’s why I’ve always been drawn to the misfits and other weirdos like me. They aren’t bizarre, that’s not what I’m meaning, simply people that live into the joys and passions placed over their lives. God wants us to be who we are, he made us to be unique, so don’t try to be this believer who just fakes it all. If you love art, do art. You can follow God exactly where you are, being in full-time ministry is not the only way to be a follower of Jesus. The thing that’s important when we wrestle with the unknowns in our lives, we need to trust, but we trust because God is sovereign in all things. He has a plan, and even though it may seem hard, his way is better. Even Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion and said, if there’s any other way to save them, let it be done. Jesus wrestled with God, and even though God still had Jesus go to the cross, three days later he rose Jesus again and was sovereign even in a hard event. God used the people in the bible because they were true to who God made them, and they chose to trust and remember that God is sovereign in all things.

Wrestle

I hope this has encouraged you. I think it’s important to pray into the struggles we walk through. To choose to have a relationship with God rather than a blind religion. The thing we always need to know though, is God loves you and he made you. He loved you so much he sent his son to die for you and take on your sins. Three days later, Jesus rose again and defeated death itself. He left the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us when we choose a relationship with our savior. Seems wild and crazy, but God is cooler than any superhero story you’ve heard, because this story is real. The realest story ever. My prayers often go something like this, God this is really hard. It seems like life is not going the way I want, but I choose to trust you. I choose to remember that you are Lord over all: sovereign. Help me through this fight, I can’t do it alone. In this prayer, I wrestle with God, because life is hard, but in the midst of my struggle, I choose Christ.

In your lives, choose Christ in the midst of the storm. That’s how you wrestle with God.

-Joshua Thomas

Author’s note: I spoke on depression today, and when I mention it, I know how dark life can seem. I know that you feel alone and hurt, but there is hope. There is always someone there for you and I never want you to feel like you have no other option. If you are feeling suicidal thoughts, I want you to call this number (844) 359-6685

There is never shame in getting professional help and I am a mental health advocate, please get in contact with NAMI (1-800-950-6264), or message me and I can direct you to some great resources.

There is always hope, and your life has value. You are so worth loving.

 

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