On Sunday, July 13, 2014, Rev. Louis R. Blakey, Jr., pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached using the title "It's All About the Struggle" based on Numbers 13:30-33 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
Pastor Blakey began his sermon by reminding the congregation that too many people want everything without any effort at all. Nobody likes to struggle; however, we struggle from the time we are born. Babies struggle from their mother's womb. Then they struggle to crawl, to pull up and then to walk. Life is full of struggles. When you have struggles, don't feel that the world has turned against you.
When we think of the doctor who has a nice house and a nice car, we want those things too. But we must know that he got those things by struggling 15 years studying to get to that point. When we see a man with a nice body, know that he has spent time in the gym. We see pastors on television with large houses, fancy cars, their own jet and a big church. We don't know what these pastors had to go through to get to where they are today.
Many Christians think that just because they are Christians, they don't have to struggle for anything. That's not true. Know that you can't pray yourself out of a struggle. Sometimes God allows you to go through the struggle to produce something in you. God turns up the heat so that the fire can burn off off the impurities so you can do greater works.
Pastor Blakey reminded the congregation about the men who went to spy out the promised land and brought back the report that there were giants in the land and to them the men looked like grasshoppers. The giants might have been left in the land to produce strength in the men to possess the land. God puts giants in our lives so we can struggle.
Struggles produces thankfulness. You appreciate things that you get by struggling. Struggling produces character. It makes you stronger and your patience is enhanced. Also, struggles test your commitment. Struggles are not all about you. God allows you to struggle so you can help others in their struggles, according to the 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
Pastor Blakey reminded the congregation that the struggle is a good thing that needs not be shortened. He cited the caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly as a good example of how struggling is good. Then he said struggles don't last forever. Struggles are instruments of transition. You have to struggle to get to where you need to go.
The preacher's final words of encouragement were that while the devil means for our struggles to take us out, God uses our struggles to take us up. It's all about the struggle.