Some saints struggle more than others. I don’t know why. But it happens.
Right now, I’m not going to analyze the whys. I just want to make the observation and point out an error that sometimes results from the observable fact that some saints struggle to progress in the Christian life at the same pace of others. Sometimes, people move from the observation of struggling saints to the conclusion that
- the gospel has no power, or
- that the person is not a believer, or
- that the person isn’t yielded to the Holy Spirit, or
- that the gospel is false.
Struggle doesn’t mean any of those things NECESSARILY. It might mean some of those things but it doesn’t NECESSARILY mean any of them.
Does God want us to grow in grace? YES.
Should believers lives reflect a growing progression toward holiness? YES.
Do blameless lives commend the gospel to the world? YES.
Should we be concerned when professing believers lead scandalous lives? YES
Should believers be identifiably different from the world? YES
And it may just mean that a person is still riding behind the wave of grace that is going to sweep them into the presence of Christ.
“The gospel is not about conquering or overcoming all of our struggles and sins. It is about being forgiven by a God who knows all our struggles and sins and loves us anyway.”
Let’s not lose sight of that as we pray and work and labor to disciple others into the wonder of the gospel. Let us show tenderness and grace, “like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7) AND like a father “exhorting” and “encouraging” and “charging” his children (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12) to walk in a manner worthy of the our great God and Savior. And let’s rejoice in the grace that will not let us go as we stumble forward in our own growth in Christ.