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Updated: Nov 1, 2023

The transformative power of a struggle, is undeniable. You enter the struggle as one disoriented by circumstances, and come out as strong as an army . You can’t tell a person who has been through some stuff who they are. They know! A conqueror. A mighty man or woman of valor.  The head and not the tail.  They don’t just understand these promises conceptually, they have lived to testify that it is so. An army of the Living God is constructed inside you during the struggle.

It’s so difficult but necessary when we’re going through tough times to hold onto this scripture. James 1: 2 - 3 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” This doesn’t mean go around pretending to be happy when you’re really going through some stuff. Such an instruction would be contrary to the authenticity of God. I believe it’s saying, joy is reaching beyond happiness, it’s finding peace in a storm. It’s making it  your job to find the silver lining and focusing on the good. That’s the function of hope. Holding onto the Prince of Peace, we develop the ability to stand in a storm.

I have always been passionate about people reaching their greatness. That’s who I am. I am that annoying person that tells you to activate your greatness because you have all you need inside of you. I suppose it’s comical that reaching my own greatness would be where my test would be. Have you ever experienced an attack on your identity? Felt that the core of who you are was being destabilized or shaken or made questionable? Been unable to share your truest beliefs because it would make people look a little more closely at your life? That’s a struggle. That’s a test of faith. 

This was my story. College graduation had come and gone, I was super excited about what I was going to accomplish in the world. I truly felt that nothing was impossible. That hard work always won at the end of the day. I had worked my tail off for good grades and been awarded scholarships in the process. I figured my resume was pretty solid, and at least enough for someone to give me a shot.

Five years later, and I was still sending out my resume with no response at all. By this time, my sense of self was dwindling. My confidence had gone down the drain. I couldn’t even relate to my friends. I had nothing to share with them, and to be honest, I just wanted to avoid the well-meaning questions about what I was up to. It’s bewildering how much of our identities are tied up in what we do.

I had to lose it all, to be isolated from where and who I thought I should be for me to hear the voice of God and to know His nature. I was frustrated because I wanted to take care of myself, but before I was employed I needed to know that the Lord is my provider. I desperately wanted someone, anyone, to give me a shot; but I had to learn that God is the only one who opens doors. I had my plans, the things I was going to do, but I had to learn that God has a more perfect plan. I wanted success in the systems of the world, but I had to learn that the only success is to be used of God.

I look back at every tough situation that I encountered. I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Emotionally tired, mentally exhausted, physically weary, and yet my spirit kept fighting. Not because I had anything to do with the fight left in my spirit, but I believe because God wouldn’t let me go. There are times when peace has left the building, and the only thing you can do is go into His word for sanity. He kept holding me up when I was too weak to stand. This may sound abstract, but I know that people who have been through any form of struggle will understand this. When you come out of a struggle, I say when, because the victory has already been won. You won’t be the same. Fear has been cast away. You won’t care what people think or say. The space that was being taken up by fear in our hearts has been eclipsed by faith. We were afraid during the struggle, because it almost took us out, but it couldn’t. Now we know who God is and what only He can do.

If he kept you alive in the struggle, it was for a reason. It was to take you to the next level. I think of Daniel in the lion’s den; when he was released unscathed, he knew the power of the Living God. I think of Job, when God restored him double what he had lost. He knew the comfort and provision of the Living God. I think of all of us who have faced various trials and challenges. The strength we now possess is supernatural. We can smile at adversity because we know the power of the Living God. It doesn’t matter what we are trying to do, be it raising a family, starting a business, growing a ministry. Remember the power that you now stand in. We’re not ordinary men and women. They may see you as one person, but you stand as firm and strong as an army of the living God. .  

Speak the promises of the Living God over your life. Stand in His victory. Our faith moves mountains. Don’t hold your tongue. Speak life into everything. How wonderful to know that the tongue holds the power of life or death. Our mouths hold so much power. That is why the devil wants to deceive us; to keep us speaking about things that don’t matter, news updates, politics,  gossip, slander; so that we don’t use our power. Please consider your power, use it for the glory of the Almighty. Nothing is impossible to the children of the Almighty. Let’s stand in our power.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." ~ 2 Timothy 1: 7

Be encouraged Neighbor🙏🏾

It is well

Credit: Written for RubyMagazine August 2019 Edition.

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