By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director
The holidays can be especially tough for so many. It can bring up past memories, losses, and even unwanted anniversaries. This year seems to add an extra level of heaviness with Covid and ongoing strife in our world.
The question that seems to be resonating in this season for me, and may apply to you as well at this time, is: “Am I ‘struggling’ or am I ‘challenged’?” I am learning that there is a difference between the two for me. If we are facing a trial in our life but are not using the tools around us to deal with it in a healthy way, then it is struggling…with no hope. However, if we are facing the trials, temptations, or all our battles with the tools we have before us, it moves us from “struggling” to “challenged,” which comes with hope for a better future. I don’t know about you, but I will take challenged over struggling any day.
As it’s been said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” This season may bring up some old memories and pains, leaving you challenged today as you walk in your steps. But remember that the challenges are developing perseverance in us. We call it sanctification, maturing in Christ.
So, if you feel challenged in the middle of the effort of facing some things head on– like old character defects, bad relationships, poor habits, wrong past thinking, etc. –remember that we can consider it pure joy. This testing of our faith is right now in the process of developing great perseverance, for not only yesterday’s or today’s stuff, but for tomorrow’s as well. This season’s challenges can and will bring tomorrow’s strength and growth. That’s good news! Remember, the challenges we are facing are not to be faced alone. We weren’t designed to face these things alone. It’s ok to ask for help. Let’s face these times together with the blessing of a front row seat to growth, healing, and change we all seek. Keep moving forward, friends.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials (challenges) of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3