Spiritual StrugglesWhen you struggle spiritually, how do you react?
Top Music Videos
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t
take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the
good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (vv.8-9).
Wildlife officials in my town tried in vain to save
a duck that had an arrow sticking through
its breast. She flew away whenever their
nets came close. It’s hard to blame the frightened fowl.
She didn’t understand that the same self-reliance that
normally kept her alive was now preventing her from
receiving the help she needed.
We are that duck. Crippled by the self-inflicted wound
of our sin, we stubbornly think we can survive by trying
harder. But every flap of our wings sucks the arrow in
deeper, and if we don’t get the help we need we will die
in our sin.
The first step to being a Christian is admitting that we
can’t fix ourselves. John Calvin observed, “The one who
has been completely reduced to nothing and has given
up . . . is fitly prepared to receive the fruits of God’s
mercy. For in proportion as someone relies on himself, by
so much he puts obstacles to God’s grace.”
Salvation is for “quitters.” Only those who give up on
their ability to please God are ready to embrace the
gospel. The gospel is not about what we can do for
God but what God has done for us. It’s the good news
that “Christ died for our sins . . . was buried, and . . .
was raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). But
we won’t trust this work of Jesus unless we concede that
we’re spiritually bankrupt, hopelessly “dead because of
our sins” (Ephesians 2:5). We won’t give ourselves to Christ until we first give up
The gospel is counter-intuitive. What serves us well in most areas of life can be
a disaster in our walk with Jesus. The normal secret to success is to try harder.
The secret of salvation is to stop trying to do it by ourselves. —Mike Wittmer
Read Psalms 38:1 to learn how David responded to the piercing arrows of his sin.
Why is it hard to depend on Christ alone? What can you do to internalize
the gospel—to feel in your heart that your salvation rests entirely on
what Jesus has already done?
- Spiritual Struggles - When you struggle spiritually, how do you react?...read more
- Happy Ascension Day - What’s one way you can celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ today?...read more
- Mixed Bag - Are there any blind spots in your life?...read more
- All We Need - How might you trust God for the bounty He alone can provide?...read more
- Simple Things - What simple pleasures can you rediscover with God today?...read more
- Thirsty? - How has God provided our identity and significance in Jesus?...read more
- Freedom from Stress - How can loving and obeying God help you to find the peace He has promised His children?...read more
- Portrait of Jesus - What did Jesus endure for you?...read more
- Slow Learners - What are you struggling to understand in your faith journey with Jesus?...read more
- The Same God - Why would it be wrong for God to not deal with sin in such a serious way?...read more
- In Jesus’ Love - What Scripture verses have been most encouraging to you?...read more
- Don’t Hesitate - How can you become more confident in sharing your faith?...read more
- Broken Instruments - Has anyone ever paid the cost of fixing something you’ve broken or destroyed?...read more
- True Sacrifice - How can you better remind yourself of your great wealth in Christ?...read more
- Jesus and the Junk - What are you trying to hide from God and others?...read more
- Changing Our Tune - What angers you today and why?...read more