Struggling With God

Saturday, March 5, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Ivory Palaces"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 32:24-28 – And so Jacob was left alone, and he struggled with a man until daybreak. When the man realized that he hadn't yet won the struggle, he injured the socket of Jacob's thigh, dislocating it as he wrestled with him, and said, "Let me go, because the dawn has come." "I won't let you go," Jacob replied, "unless you bless me." Then the man asked him, "What's your name?" "Jacob," he responded. "Your name won't be Jacob anymore," the man replied, "but Israel, because you exerted yourself against both God and men, and you've emerged victorious." (ISV)

Every day, I seem to be struggling with something or someone. It may be as trivial as struggling to open a tight jar, or to complete a challenging jigsaw puzzle. Other times, it might be a struggle to get along with a difficult person, or to overcome an injury. And sometimes, I must confess to struggling with God.

I know Christians who seem to be always immovable and unshakeable in their faith, content in every circumstance, praying constantly, and receiving unmistakable answers. Not me. I struggle. I question and search, and question some more.

For those of us who grapple spiritually, we can find some hope in the story of Jacob in Genesis. He made some terrible choices: he tricked his brother and deceived his father in order to secure an inheritance that he wasn't entitled to. Later, he gathered his family and belongings and tried to sneak them all away from his father-in-law. On more than one occasion, he was visited by God and received clear instructions, but he still persisted in making a "Plan B" just in case God's promise wasn't enough. Yet, through it all, God never gave up on Jacob and continued repeating His promise to treat him kindly and multiply his descendants. Jacob kept on trying to get things right, giving God the credit when promises were fulfilled.

At the point of today's passage, Jacob literally struggled with God and refused to let go until God blessed him. That is the first time that God told Jacob his new name, "Israel", which means "he struggles with God". Jacob did struggle, both physically and spiritually — but eventually, he received all that God promised, and then some, being a direct ancestor of Jesus.

God, Who was willing to struggle with Jacob, is able to handle our struggling souls, too. God's promises are stronger than our questions or doubts. It's okay to struggle, as long as we don't let go.

Will you pray with me now?

Prayer: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, sometimes, we struggle in our faith. We long to remain close to You, but our human nature wrestles with Your Spirit. Lord, forgive us for our doubts. Even more than that, keep struggling with us until we are able to stand strong and solid in You. Thank You for Your grace and patience. Amen.

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About the author:

Angie Williams <aw8675334@gmail.com>
Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    THANK you. You have eased my mind.


    Thanks for the encouraging words, Angie.


    Thank you. I needed that!
    (ON)


    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank you for writing. Lately I seem to have many questions for God. I appreciate your thoughts.


    I think your devotional reading today will be an encouragement to many. It was for me. Thank you.


    Thank you, Angie, for expressing the troubles most of us have… even those who seem outwardly to be so strong.


    Angie,
    Smooth writing! Struggle and don’t give up….
    Is an encouraging lesson.


    Lovely devotional today. Thanks very much. I hope you will keep writing.
    Many blessings upon you


    Well spoken, Angie. It’s easy to get discouraged when our path isn’t easy, and you’ve given us some good thoughts for when we’re struggling.


    Thank you for sharing on this important topic, Angie. Many struggle especially in these challenging times. Keeping focused on God will see us through.


    Thank you so much for your message today! I found it very encouraging!
    Blessings.


    Dear Angie:
    Thank you so much for your wonderful devotional. I am praying for you as you walk with God. May you be filled with His Holy Spirit always and know His joy in you and with you.


    Thank you, Angie, for your thoughtful and very meaningful devotional. Yes we must remain strong through our struggles and follow the example of Jacob to keep going forward in our faith. Blessings for this writing.


    Today , struggle is an important word, as we struggle with COVID, protest shutdowns, and now even worse – the invasion of Ukraine and threat of World War III. Our faith in a loving Father will bring comfort and peace.


    Amazing message, Angie, thank you. I believe it is in the struggling that we learn, not the easy times. At least in my life.
    Have a wonderful day!


    Hi Angie
    You are right. I don’t think there is a Christian on this earth that does not struggle with their faith some time in their life. We are all humans, and all have our faults and need God to help us through this life.
    Blessings.


    Dear Angie,
    Inspiring! That is how I feel about your devotional. You have said it so well and really helped us struggling ones. I will pray with you. Thank you for encouraging others and letting us know it is okay to struggle with God.
    May we look forward to the day we are “strong and solid” in God. Blessings and peace.


    Many thanks, Angie, for an encouraging message as many of us struggle to deal with the problems facing us today which are many! Angst after a lengthy pandemic, the trials of enduring a three-week truck convoy, and the resulting damage to our economy and spirits, and now a war perpetrated on the innocent souls in Ukraine. I found your message uplifting as you are not alone in your questions and doubts!! We carry on in faith and hope!


    Good morning Angie,
    You are so right, sometimes we struggle with the things which daily, or almost daily, confront us, and I too at times struggle. I just went through a serious operation and I know what you are talking about. Also I just read the story about Jacob earlier in the week when I was walking on the treadmill.
    Thank you for your good words.
    Blessings.


    Angie,
    What a well-written devotional you have presented to us this morning. Thank you.
    Last night we attended a musical “jam” session here in rural Texas in a neighbor’s barn. It was a warm, friendly, fun experience. Before the music began I was visiting with a local pastor’s wife. She and her husband had lived in Poland in ministry for several years. Of course, we ended up discussing Ukraine. Talk about struggling with God. Your devotional was “spot on.”
    (Texas)


    It seems that I am always struggling with God and my faith. Last night I went to a praise and prayer gathering, a very small one for only a few people came. And all though the evening , I had to fight the thought that my faith was feeble and weak. Yet I wanted to be there.
    God test us sometimes, but it is so that we can come out always choosing Him, our Eternal Father.
    I think sometimes I wonder why He created the bunch of us. We are so evil.
    Yet, I look up to Jesus, for He is the only one that has the Words of eternal life. Praise be to our God, our Saviour and our light in this world of darkness.
    Thank you, Angie, for the opportunity to express myself.


    Thanks Angie,
    Good insight.


    Thank you for your devotional today. I am definitely a struggler and doubter, but I keep trying.
    Thanks again and please keep writing.

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