The Struggle Is Real

 We often hear the phrase in popular culture, “the struggle is real.”  We look at Jesus and see he suffered as well as healed people!  Sometimes in full time ministry, I just want the good parts. I want to say, “God, give me the good parts without the hard parts.”  But I see through the struggle, my faith is strengthened and I know God deeper!
     My church is preaching on the book of Colossians. I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.  My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.–Colossians 2:1-3
     Looking at verse 1, we see the struggle is real in Gospel-Centered Ministry.  Paul wants them to know they are loved.  Paul has labored in prayer for them.  Paul says I want you to know “how hard I am contending for you…”  Paul was not just giving small prayers, He was praying boldly for them.  And even praying for those that he has not met personally too.  Through reading this, I’m reminded struggle is a sign of success.  If someone close to me, a guest at ODM knows Jesus, it shows I am right where God wants me.  I have a heart for them to know Jesus.
     His prayer was that they would be encouraged and united in love, so they may truly know Christ deeper!
     We were challenged to ask ourselves “has our heart been enlarged by the Gospel?”  Not just once, but everyday is our heart growing to know Jesus more?  God’s relationship with us is not that we would just go through the motions of life, but that we would come to love Jesus more every single day.  That is where growth happens in our own lives to share with others!
     My prayer here at ODM is that our heart would be enlarged by the Gospel everyday.  The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus came to give us new life.  God sacrificed His Son so we would have eternal life!  I pray we would not be people who just go through the motions.  But instead, I pray that if we would be people who wrestle with our brothers and sisters to know Christ that we would be passionate about the truth of Jesus!  That we would be bold in our faith and that we would be encouraged in heart and united in love, so we can enlarge God’s kingdom!!!
Trudy Woodward
Lydia House Director 
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