Life is hard. Often times in life, we feel so miserable. We feel like the world is collapsing on top of us. There’s a war going on. A war that cannot be seen. The enemy is doing whatever it takes to keep us from drawing close to God. He knows he can’t win this fight against him, but he wants to drag us down and steal from us and destroy us. He wants to separate us from what he knows we so desperately need and desire deep down in our hearts. But it seems so easy to give up, to give in to the temptation to take matters into our own hands, or to believe the lies of the enemy. There are days when we feel like giving up is the only thing we can do. I’ve been there!
There was a time in my life when I finally began to receive the healing I needed from all the pain I experienced, and I began to know and understand the truth of who I really am (read more about my story in my About Me), but the enemy was going to do everything he could to keep me from believing that truth. It was so hard to fight the lies of the Devil. I thought it was never going to get better, that I was never going to become the true me. There were days when the pain was so deep and darkness seemed to be closing in all around me. How could I go on? What was I really fighting for? What could I hold on to that would keep me going?
In the story of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Frodo and Sam have been on this journey to destroy this ring that, in the hands of the evil Sauron, will conquer all of Middle Earth. As Frodo and Sam are on their journey, they battle countless evils and temptations, then they come across a massive army of orcs (goblins) led by Sauron’s followers. Carrying the ring has become too heavy a burden for Frodo. So many times does he want to give up and turn around and go back home. How can he go on?
Paul and the early church knew this same struggle, as they also encountered countless battles, persecutions and temptations. Here he writes:
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Yes, we live under danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, ‘I believed in God, so I spoke.’ We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
– Corinthians 4:8-18 NLT
We hold on to hope. We hold on to peace. We hold on to love. We hold on to joy. We hold on to freedom. And most of all, we hold on to the truth that good still exists in this world. We are able to hold on to all of these things because of Jesus…because of this beautiful treasure we hold deep in our hearts. Because of His sacrifice, we can hold on to the truth that we will become whole, and the fight will be won. Don’t give up and don’t lose heart, for your God is fighting right along side you. And believe me, you are worth fighting for.