I see so many people constantly struggling through life. As a pastor, evangelist and disciple of Christ I'm put by default in an especially close proximity to many people who have gone, or, are now going through drastic struggles and trials in life. Alas, in my 11 years of following the Lord Jesus, I've found that struggles are inevitable. But my thesis for this blog entry is simply this: You can either struggle 'in', or you can struggle 'through', the first leading to turmoil and frustration, the second leading to victory and peace. I wonder if you've heard the story about the 3 brick layers?

A man walked up to the first one and said, "What are you doing?"

"What does it look like I'm doing, you idiot! I'm laying bricks" the first worker said. It seems his wall was a little lopsided.

Stunned, the man moved on to the second worker, and asked the same question, "What are you doing?"

"I'm building a wall" the second worker said with a half smile. Then he looked away and got back to work.

"Pretty sturdy-looking wall" the man thought...

The man then moved on to the third worker and asked again, "What are you doing?"

"I'm building a great cathedral for God!" the man said with excitement in his voice. The third man seemed the hardest worker and was accomplishing the most.

Everyone struggles in life. Life involves stuff like work, sweat, sorrow, perseverance, trials, etc.

I want to leave you with 3 things that has immensely helped me through every trial and struggle I've passed though. I'll give you the PAP talk! (just made that up!)

P erspective - whatever you pass though - GET GOD'S PERSPECTIVE!! I can't stress enough! He sees everything. Seek Him until you find him and hear His voice and leading regarding your situation! Seek His word (read the Bible) daily until you break through to HOW GOD SEES the situation. David said in one of the Psalms, "In your light I see light!" God's perspective will undoubtedly turn any trial into 'an opportunity to grow' or 'a stepping stone to your calling' - which struggles can most certainly be if approached the right way! - With the right perspective. (sidenote - why do you think so many people turn to alcohol, drugs, entertainment, food, porn, and any other sin when they struggle? It numbs the pain - it numbs their PERSPECTIVE so they don't have to face the thing with honesty - poor choice if you want to grow as a person).

A ttitude - once you have the heart of God, your attitude (spiritual/emotional condition by CHOICE) determines your actions. If you need to repent, then repent. If you need to forgive, forgive. If you need to ask forgiveness, do it! Whatever you need to do to get things right! Determine in your heart of hearts to approach struggle with an attitude like, "This thing I'm facing is actually an opportunity to grow into what God has for me! This isn't a struggle - it's a stretch! It's an opportunity for victory! It's a stepping stone to my calling!, etc.!"

P erseverance - DON'T STOP! I've learned that everyone has a dream. But I've also learned that 1 basic thing separates those who dream and those who live their dreams - the ones that live them out are the ones that persevere! I can't stress this enough! IF YOU NEVER STOP, YOU WILL WIN!

I encourage you (and myself) to continue to STRUGGLE the right way. Forward! After Christ Jesus! To the end! Never stopping! May his grace empower you this moment to dream, live, struggle and overcome into all God has for you!