“Without struggle there is no progress” (Frederick Douglass).
I paused as I read a raw heartfelt sentence from a young man whose world was upended by a life-debilitating health diagnosis. “As ever I will be fighting hard to stay close to God and faithful to His will, but now that’s seeming a lot more difficult than it was before.”
His words struck me hard.
After receiving devastating news and still trying to digest all that is ahead in his life, he purposes to fight hard for something worth the struggle: “To stay close to God and faithful to His will!”
Let that sink in for more than a moment. And just a moment longer.
The word “fight” is used as both a noun and a verb in English. It can have several meanings. I want to focus not on interpersonal conflicts, but rather on the overall sense of adverse circumstances.
Everyone encounters “fights” in life. In some areas of life our “battles” are simply nouns. We announce our hardships – to invoke sympathy, to be “real,” or to acknowledge our similar plight.
Yet we often stop short of truly engaging in a battle against the problems that arise. We may soften the language and call them “struggles.”
But in the end, just like “fight,” “struggle” is also both a noun and a verb. It’s what we choose to do about our struggles or fights that makes all the difference.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds the recipients that they had not yet resisted (strived against) sin to the point of having their blood shed as Jesus had. Now that is serious fighting!
I had to ask myself a few questions as I thought about my own “struggles” and “fights” in life:
What am I willing to fight for – and is it really important in God’s view?
Am I treating my struggles as nouns or verbs? That is, am I merely labeling them, or actively striving to overcome them through the power of His Spirit by submitting in obedience to His will?
Do I take into account the spiritual nature of the battle and seek the resources and solutions God provides? 
Are my fights and struggles completely beyond my control? If so, can I turn them over to God? (Do I even know how to fully surrender my circumstances to Him?)
Are there battles or struggles that matter much more (considering eternity!) that I am not even engaged in?
All of this comes to mind because of those words written by that young man in his early twenties. “As ever I will be fighting hard to stay close to God and faithful to his will, but now that’s seeming a lot more difficult than it was before.”
We are often willing to fight for things like our rights, for a parking space, or for our wounded pride. Yet doesn’t “fighting” to stay close to God and remain faithful to His will sound like the best fight of all?
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight” – John Gresham Machen.
Written by Jeff, LIFE Staff Member
With what are you struggling today?
Is it a mountain of financial debt, certain persistent sins, or significant hardship or loss? Perhaps emotional issues of guilt, deep pain or anger from your past or present?
Are these battles being actively fought against – or just “thought against?”
Take a step further and ask, “Am I fighting hard in the right battles? And whose strength, wisdom, and resources am I employing?”
If we can provide encouragement by standing with you in prayer, please contact us with your request.