Until the age of 26, my life was a struggle. As a child, I struggled to find acceptance and as an adult searched heavily for it. My search landed me in the adult film industry for seven years. I found myself deep into depression, drug addiction, and often entertained suicidal thoughts. I was in a pit of darkness and saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I was hopeless until one day Jesus radically changed my life. Since leaving the adult industry and stepping into my calling, I have globally preached the gospel and have even appeared on ABC's The View with my friend, Craig Gross, founder of XXXchurch.com. Who would have thought that I would have gone from a porn star to a preacher? Certainly not me, but that's the beauty of the struggle.
Much of my struggle as an adult was caused by my poor decision making. Many struggles can be avoided in life by seeking God, by seeking wise counsel, and by making good decisions. However, there is a struggle that we must all endure; and one that cannot be avoided. The struggle is that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you pray, and no matter the amount of wise counsel you seek, you just can't seem to find a way out. This is a struggle that God allows because He wants to test and prepare you for the things He has in store for you. Every relationship will encounter this type of struggle; and it is up to you and your partner to endure it and pray your way through it so that you can find the beauty in the struggle.
In Genesis 37, we are introduced to a man named Joseph. Joseph encountered many struggles but endured until the end. Because of his endurance and upright character, he found the beauty in the struggle. One night Joseph had a dream that he would become a king and that his family would bow down to him. When he shared this dream with his brothers, they hated him for it. Their hatred and jealousy towards their brother caused them to sell Joseph into slavery. Over the next several years, Joseph encountered some highs and plenty of lows. Joseph had to endure the unavoidable struggle, and because he did, his dream became a reality. After much struggle and more than a decade later, Joseph was made ruler over the land of Egypt. When there was a famine in the land, unbeknownst to Joseph's family, they bowed down to him and asked him for food for their family. Joseph’s dream had finally become a reality.
Genesis 50:20 (NLT) sums up much of Joseph’s struggles when he says to his family, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so that I could save the lives of many.” Could it be that the reason your relationship encounters struggle is that your struggle is meant to bring you and your partner to a place where you could glorify God and save the lives of many? Joseph would have never become a ruler over Egypt had he not encountered constant struggle. I bet you and your partner wouldn't get to where you're meant to be in life without the struggle. Where are your struggles leading you?
We must keep in mind that though we may struggle, God is still in control. Though people may have intended to harm you, God has intended it all for good. Notice the scripture said, “God intended it all for good.” Let this word encourage you today because God has intended, not some of your struggles, but all of your struggles for good.
Richard and Brittni De La Mora join James and Betty this Thursday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from the devotional Fire by Brittni De La Mora. Copyright ©2018 Fireproof Ministries. Used by permission.