Living Free - May 14, 2012

Christians Struggle

Today's Scripture

"I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Romans 7:18-19 NLT

Thoughts for Today

While flying in an airplane, we find we leave the runway and climb into the clouds and stay there as long as the plane is moving forward fast enough to keep aloft. We are in the plane, escaped from the ground, but there is still a pull on our bodies that would drag us back to the ground if we were not in the plane.

Sometimes life is that way. Even if you are a Christian, you will sometimes feel the strong pull of temptation in some areas of your life. And when you try to overcome on your own, without God's protection and strength, you fall. Even the apostle Paul experienced that pull. He describes his frustration in today's scripture. There were times when he wanted to do good but didn't Or wanted to avoid doing wrong . . . and didn't. Ever feel that way?

Consider this …

It is amazing how the past influences us even when our circumstances have changed. Sometimes even after becoming Christians, we try to please God by sheer human determination to do what is right. But when we try to do it on our own, we become frustrated, like Paul sometimes was. We want to do good . . . but don't. We don't want to do wrong . . . but do it anyhow. We forget our relationship with God is based on grace. In our minds, we base everything on performance . . . and are frustrated when we fail to perform perfectly.

This week we will have a look at what the Bible says about all this.


Father, I guess I thought when I became a Christian, life would be so easy. I would no longer struggle with sin. I realize now I was wrong. Even though I face struggles, help me not to try to overcome them on my own. Help me to recognize my dependence on you and reach out for your love and your help. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Completely Free! A Group Study of Romans 1-8 by Dan Strickland. Everyone struggles from time-to-time, but we can have confidence that in Christ we are completely free from sin's slavery, from condemnation, and from fear of failure. This group study of Romans 1-8 and 12 helps Christians break out of the dull routine of a stagnant spiritual life. Applying the truths found in Romans can transform any believer into a person eager to follow God's will. This study can also serve as a powerful evangelistic tool by explaining the message of salvation as presented in Romans. Suggested uses include home Bible studies, cell groups, Sunday school classes, support groups and personal enrichment.

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