Life Is A Beautiful Struggle

We are a culture that does not like to struggle.  An unbiased observer of the modern age would quickly come to the conclusion that much of what has defined the age of science and technology has been an attempt to eliminate struggle.  Better, faster, cheaper and much more convenient is our mantra.  Perhaps we are the victims of our success.  We have been able to make daily living so much easier than past generations, and because of that we now believe that if we are struggling then it must mean something is wrong.

While this might be a modern view, it is certainly not a Biblical one.  Often times, the presence of God is discovered most readily right smack in the middle of struggle.  How about the Israelites begging for deliverance from Pharaoh’s ghetto?  What about the exile into Babylon?  What about the first disciples watching as Jesus was crucified?  Even the first churches, highlighted by Acts, struggled for their very existence against overwhelming odds.  In many ways, struggle is what identifies us as God’s people.  Our search for the peace of Christ comes in the midst of struggle.

So it’s no surprise that struggle is the place the church finds itself today.  To identify our struggle is not the sign that something is wrong, but perhaps the sign that God is still working on us, just as we are still working on the world around us as God’s people.  Even if our culture thinks struggle is a bad thing, we believe that God is to be found in the struggle, so for us perhaps struggle is even good news.

Our Session at HPC has identified a group of men and women that have attempted to identify at least part of our struggle as the gathered community called the church.  Our work has been specific to Hillsboro: our people, our location and our work together.  We have identified some of what causes us anxiety about the future of the church.  We believe that by naming our struggle, we are not behaving badly or giving in to negativism but on the contrary are meeting God to be transformed.

I invite you to read our very preliminary statement about our particular struggle, especially if you are part of the HPC community, and then to offer your comments and insight.  We are gathering information and soliciting feedback as we continue to mold and shape this statement.  Your input is important.  In the coming months, our Session will receive the results of our work and will begin to engage with this struggle in a more intentional way.

Here’s the statement: We struggle to embrace the Gospel, which calls us to trust in the midst of anxiety and unite in the midst of fracture. Through an interaction of Scripture, the ever-evolving culture, and the Church (the body of the Living Christ), we seek the courage to shift our focus from ourselves—our preferences, our comfort, and our security—to others God is calling us to serve.  

What do you think?  Does this ring true for you and/or your family?  Is this an accurate reflection of our struggle?

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers…


  1. Good piece, Chris. Struggle and suffering are complex and sensitive subjects, particularly when it comes to the struggles of the poor and marginalized. Does God want and expect us to struggle? Is there even such a thing as "redemptive" suffering? I don't think so, but it is nonetheless the reality. Someone once said that some of us cause our own suffering. Put another way, some are not punished for their sins, but by their sin. And, particular to those who are crushed by economic and social conditions over which they have no control. our sins (the sins of those who promote and benefit from such conditions) unjustly punish them. Where's the redemption and salvation? Where's the consolation? I suppose that to some extent it is in the idea that God suffers with and along side us. It may be in the promise that the Spirit groans with us. Another wise mind proposed that our very lives depend on our constant thoughts of others. I understand this to mean that only when we are freed from our bondage of self are we able to glimpse the "kingdom," that is, the world as God intends it to be. Peace.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts