To persevere when you want to give up

Sometimes we look around only to discover that we are still struggling with the same issue, same person, conflict, addiction…sometimes in relationships we find that the sins and struggles of another bears down on us to the point where we don’t care to have the heart to carry on. It has become exhausting and wearying. It would be so much easier to walk away.

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Dealing with women who have spouses that struggle (or when the wife is struggling) has been revealing of all the sorrow that people carry when someone close to them is in bondage to sin. There is no way around it – sin is ugly, it destroys, it wounds, it has consequences. It is especially difficult when you are married to someone who seems to be bent on destruction. How does one persevere in that circumstance? How does one keep going, keep hoping, keep believing that God will break through the hardened heart? How does one persevere when the tentacles of sin seem to be reaching into every area of life.

Sometimes when our spouse struggles we feel as though the sin of their husband has absorbed our joy and hope and that God no longer cares…that even He has given up. It appears that all is lost. But we cannot gauge God working by appearances. Often it appears that the storm we are facing will bear down on us to the point of death. The moment we cry out that we cannot handle on more fierce pelting from the storm is when there is a slight break in the clouds. We cannot fathom all the things that God is doing in the midst of the difficult trial. It appears that He is silent, but He is not. We cannot see all that He is orchestrating for our benefit. Even when a spouse struggles.

The beautiful fact that God allows us free will – to accept Him, or not, can seem to be frustrating when it comes to addiction. You want so much for God to slap the person struggling into shape – you don’t want them to have free will – you want God to make them behave, to sit them in a corner, or in the very least…make the person into what you want and need.

It is easy to keep your eyes focused on your spouses’ sin, it is so apparent in so many ways. Thoughts can be bent more on despair rather than perseverance. God sees how hard it is. God sees the far-reaching and painful ways the sin has brought so many storms. God cares about the spouse and most certainly you as you walk this often, lonely road.

But God is persevering in you! He is working in ways all around you – and certainly working within you. What He desires of you more than anything for you to persevere in Him. If you would seek after Him, lean hard upon Him, desire Him…you will find that the load will be lightened. God desires that your spouse be set free from bondage and He desires that YOU be set free from the ways your heart is in bondage. Maybe the bitterness, fear, hatred and despair that has shrouded you like a dark cloud is eating away at your soul like the addiction is eating away at your spouses’.

Obviously, solid counseling, understanding co-dependency and a support system is important but knowing that God perseveres in you, that He does not give up on you. You do not have to have the ability to persevere in your own strength…you must rely on God’s strength. He is your perseverance. Persevere in Him – in seeking Him!

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!