There Will Always Be New Struggles
Pain will never end during earthly living and every year there is going to be a new battle to fight. It could be spiritual inside at war with the mind and flesh, or it could be a physical problem or illness/injury you have to cope with and still be able to praise God. Whatever it is, make sure you are biblically grounded in the Christian faith and you will do well.
Every year I want to start over fresh and new, but it is impossible. The old man always creeps up and I have to keep killing him over and over, but sometimes it seems he is always resurrected through demonic mischief that is thrown at you through temptations and sinful desires that your flesh craves. The only weapon we have to kill these old men and women with is the Word of God. Slay it right when its head creeps up as it seems to be lifted up by demonic hands that deceptively pull it out of the grave.
For example, on the other end of the spectrum, in my life, not only do I have to keep saying no to Satan’s temptations, but I have to cope with the reality of my failing body. I have so many injuries and joint problems because when I was a teenager I was hit by a car. I love martial arts and I always wanted to be one of the best fighters in the world and run a martial arts school and have high ranks in different styles of combat. The problem is my body will not allow me to express my desires through martial arts the way I used to be able to. I’ve had several surgeries including six knee surgeries, three on each knee. I am coping with slow recovery as I just had the last two done a month ago at the time of this writing. I have to realize that God takes away things for His purpose and all I can do is praise His name and keep living for Him. Could it be pride, idolatry or worse if I had been the best fighter I could be? Possibly God did me a favor in taking away my physical abilities. All I know is every day when I wake up with the intense pain in my body I am always humbled and remember that none of the pain I go through: arthritic joints and breathing problems, is anywhere close to the pain Jesus Christ went through when He died on the cross and was nailed after being beaten up, kicked, punched, whipped with cords that had spikes made out of glass and thorns that shredded his skin open, and forced to carry his own cross piece that he would be raised up on later while wearing a painful crown of thorns. Jesus Christ not only took the physical pain that poured out His blood all over the ground, he also took the pain of rejection by the Father. The rejection we do not have to endure since we are sealed with Christ’s blood. Isaiah 53:10 says, “Yet the LORD was pleased to crush Him, and He made Him sick.” Further Isaiah 53:12 tells us that the reason Christ died was because “He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.” If He had not done this we would have to suffer eternal death in hell. Those who reject Christ will suffer this fate, but the elect are given God’s unmerited grace.
So remember this year that God’s Son has died for you and the new sins you will commit this year are already put to death on the cross through Jesus Christ. Have a repentant heart and destroy the sinful old man or woman that comes back from the dead in order to destroy you. Demonic influence from the evil doers of the world whose vileness is displayed in front of you enticing you to join in; as well as your own sinful desires that embrace sins without the Devil’s help; are always going to be a challenge. The pain of earthly living and the fact the LORD takes away things and also gives new things back is a test for you to remain pure in the LORD and trust in Him. He is doing what is good. Be encouraged and strengthened. Serve the King and spread the gospel! Spread it through your way of life as well as opening your mouth and explaining the message. Do not be silent, both in word and deed!