I’ve talked to several people over the past couple of weeks who are deeply struggling with some issues in their lives. By no means am I the world’s greatest counselor or pastor, but I really believe in some simple advice that we can give for anyone going through a difficult struggle, whether it’s internal or external.
#1 – Jesus.
Your personal relationship with Christ is the single most important thing, no matter what the issue is. If your heart isn’t where it needs to be – in a real, breathing relationship with God’s Son – nothing else is going to be working for you. This relationship is easy to ignore or forget for many, but if you aren’t talking to God, reading the Word, and finding some time to be still and listen EVERY SINGLE DAY, then you need to start with this. Period.
#2 – Community.
Are you a part of a loving Christian community where you can share what you are struggling with? I’m not asking if you’re going to a Bible Study or a worship service (although those are great!), I’m asking if you have at least one or two close friends or family members that you can be honest and open with about your struggle. Church isn’t meant to be an item on your weekly to-do list, but a beloved community that you can find peace and edification in. If you’re in communion with Christ (see above), He will lead you to seek out a community centered on Him.
#3 – Service.
Don’t underestimate the ability that serving others has to ease your own burdens. When you put the needs of others above your own, it helps you gain perspective and get into rhythm with the heart of God. I usually find that my own problems either fade away in light of serving others, or God teaches me something in the context of serving that helps me to sort out my own mess. Either way, serving is a great place for healing and growth in the midst of struggles.
For any of you out there helping those who struggle, or struggling yourself, I hope this helps!