From Conflict to Harmony: Embracing Internal Struggles as a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

From Conflict to Harmony: Embracing Internal Struggles as a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

Written by: Josh Hellman | Published: June 5, 2023

You can’t take it anymore. You’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve given it over to God for the 10,000th time and yet nothing has changed. You still feel the same pain, same guilt, same shame. You feel let down, trapped, you can’t see a way out. You know there’s more and you want it. “Why do I feel this way?”, you may ask. Where is God in all of this? Didn’t He say He’d fulfill His promises? Why don’t I see it happening?
Too often we look to God in a time where we don’t see the results we want and start to get angry, depressed, or lose hope. We might say we didn’t think it was going to be this hard, after all, if God is who He says He is shouldn’t I see the results immediately? If He promised it shouldn’t I see it? We often forget that growth takes time and fruit is finished after a season. This means the seeds of this fruit have to endure through storms and winds and foes which would try to steal them and carry them away to destroy them.
We can sometimes get to the point where we stop contending for our salvation or sanctification because it all seems too much to bear. However, when we look to scripture we see the patriarchs of the faith and how they fought with God for His will, promises and truth.

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”
-Genesis 32-24-30

We don’t know too much of the circumstances which led up to Jacob wrestling with God but we do know he wanted God’s blessing so much he didn’t give up until God gave him a blessing. Moses contended with God for God’s righteousness to be shown to the Hebrews so other people would know God was a holy and loving God. David contended with God so he would see the promises of his kingdom fulfilled even when he was hidden in a cave away from his enemies.
I think we have a problem in our culture where we think God will be offended by us being honest and truthful to Him. This is weird for the simple reason God knows our heart better than us anyways, so why not just be honest? I think there is definitely a part of God which wants us to fight for Him and the things of Him. There’s a God who wants to see us fight for His glory, His love, His honor. Too often we are so caught up in our own problems we fail to realize we are in a situation in which we can honor God and give Him the glory thus bringing eternal blessings upon ourselves and our families.
It’s ok to fight with God, not against, there’s a big difference. One says you know who God is but you’re struggling and need Him, the other is you don’t care for what He has to offer and you’re going to willingly work against Him. God wants us to do what it takes to be closer to Him. Think about the woman who asked to follow Jesus and was denied twice but on the third time Jesus commended her faith. It’s not that Jesus was wanting to throw her away rather He knew her faith and wanted to see it on display for His glory. I believe this is why Jesus speaks about the blind man in this way,

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As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
-John 9:1-7

It’s hard news to embrace that we might suffer for the glory of God, whether through deformity, pain, loss, or even death, but we must remember to wrestle with God. Fight for His blessing, fight for the will of God to be done, fight for the goodness of God. There is nothing more worthwhile than fighting for Godliness in any generation no matter what the fight looks like. Continuing being truthful with God, He’s stronger than our emotions and more comforting than our pain. He is a loving Father calling out to you.