Christian living

Stop Trying

“Dear God, help me keep this attitude. I’m not feeling this way on my own.” I was sitting in the car and turning over a question in my head. I was trying to balance romantic dreams with contentment in God’s will. I was not thinking of a specific relationship, but I decided, nonetheless, that I would be content with whatever God had for me in the future. I’m a young teen, but this is an important attitude for me to begin with. I also knew that this attitude could never sprout from my heart. It could only have been put there by God. There was no way I could be so content and peaceful on my own-especially concerning one of my greatest dreams. If you are looking to be content, patient, or just more like Christ and are FAILING, I have something to say to you. There is something I missed for years, something you could be missing too. My wrong thinking could have been summed up in a lie I believed: “If I’m going to be like Christ, I’ve got to work harder!” I struggled for years trying to “get it right”. I tried and I tried.
  • I tried to read my Bible consistently.
  • I tried to be kinder to my siblings.
  • I tried to obey my parents.
And I ended up with a self-righteous, prideful self-love; nothing close to what I intended. I knew it wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I was guilty, and I couldn’t do a thing. In John Bunyan’s book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian has a terrible burden. It is ugly and heavy and despised by it’s bearer. Christian wants to take it off, but he cannot- try as he might. Only when he comes to the cross and stands in its shadow does his burden tumble off. We cannot do anything about our “burden” of sin. When we try to take it off on our own, we can make no progress. Ironically, we sometimes end up with an even heavier burden than before. Having the diagnosis for your sin is important, but you need a cure. THE cure that can only be given by God. When Jesus paid for our sin by dying in our place, He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him and to be SAVED from our sin. God does an amazing work of sanctification in the lives of His children. We will never be perfect here on earth, but God will be faithful to constantly make us more like Him. And all we have to do is ask.

Matthew 7:7-8

“’Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.'”

This is a prayer, if said in faith (James 1:6), that is sure to be answered. Although we will always struggle with sin, God is pleased to supply us with strength for every fight and a way out of every temptation (1 Corinth. 10:13). We can be assured that God will make His children like Him.

Philippians 1:6

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

When we come to His feet knowing that we have nothing and can do nothing, it is almost painfully humbling. But then, after the pain of humiliation, comes the amazing joy of clinging to Jesus alone and the greater realization of God’s amazing love. When we realize we have absolutely nothing to offer, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is seen as it truly is: undeserved. Through the humility and tears, we see how great the love of God is “for such a worm as I”. Stop trying, ask God for help, and stand in awe at His amazing grace.

9 thoughts on “Stop Trying”

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