|Your Struggle Can Bring You Closer To God
By Greg Sanders
Genesis 32:25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”27“What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.”28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
Have you ever felt like you were going through a season where you were wrestling with God? Perhaps things were not progressing as quickly in one area of your life as you desired, or maybe you had very little certainty about the direction of the future. Jacob knew a little about this uncertainty. He had no idea whether his brother Esau would welcome him or kill him. However, in the middle of this struggle, God did make a monumental change in Jacob’s life. He changed his name as a confirmation of a secure promise. The man said to Jacob, “You wrestled with God and have won.”
Let me ask you a question: Do you ever win a battle with God? Did God actually go home a loser this day? Perhaps God does not engage us in struggles to gain victory over us but rather so that we can achieve victory through Him. I believe God can use struggles to bring us success in the following ways.
* Struggles are intended to bring you closer to God. You cannot wrestle with someone from a distance. Many parents have wrestled with their small children, not as a way to defeat them, but as a way to be close.
* Struggles expose what is on the inside of you. In good times you plan. In hard times you react. When you react, it reveals what has been harboring inside of you. It draws out the bitter or exposes the right.
* Struggles allow you to receive from God. God changed Jacob’s name. If Jacob had avoided the conflict, he would have also avoided the confirmation that God had for him. Be careful when your only prayer is, “God, please keep me from hard times.”
Today’s Challenge: Realize that if you are struggling with God regarding this season of your life, it is more than just a problem. It is an opportunity to draw close to Him and hear His voice like never before. There is a promise beyond the struggle.