Spiritual Struggles

September 18, 2018

“[The] exodus of Jesus into the wilderness following His baptism has a dual symbolism: (1) it fulfills the OT type, in which Israel journeyed in the wilderness for forty years after its “baptism” in the Red Sea; and (2) it prefigures our own journey through the fallen world after baptism as we struggle towards the Kingdom.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 4:1)


“For Christians, pursuing Christ’s Kingdom within – the struggle for purity – must cover every aspect of our life…” (OCPM 2/5/2016)

“Steep and thorny is the path that leads to the Heavenly Kingdom. What is your path? It is the struggle unto blood against fleshly passions and self-love. Self-love is the soil upon which grow passions, emptiness of life, and sorrow.” (Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk)


“Have you noticed how many people claim to respect gentleness, humility, forgiveness, service, and love as great ideals, while in practice they disdain these as ineffective? They reject such virtues in the day-to-day struggle of this world, being driven to win, bent on self-aggrandizement, and set on personal advancement. The truth is that the evangelical virtues require enormous spiritual reserves, as the lives of Christ and the Apostles demonstrate.” (Dynamis 6/29/2018)


“Most want to possess the kingdom without labors and struggles and sweat, but this is impossible.” (Pseudo-Macarius)


“Doubt” is a topic that comes up often…in any journey of faith. We wonder things like: Is my faith strong enough? Am I doing what God wants me to do with my life? If God loves me, why does He allow me to struggle with certain things without success? These thoughts can cause distraction at a minimum and can lead one to feel down and distraught at their worst.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)


“Our faith is about learning to live in the revealing of things that were hidden. True Christianity should never be obvious. It is, indeed, the struggle to live out what is not obvious.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


…how can it be that sometimes, while one is in a good spiritual condition and is joyful, he suddenly loses that joy?’ God sends you spiritual joys and you rejoice. He takes them away from you and you seek them again — exerting greater effort in your struggle, and making greater spiritual progress.” (Papa Demetri)


“For God to help, one must have a desire to struggle. And when we say a desire to struggle, we mean that one must be willing to make some effort to overcome his particular weakness. If God sees even a little true will, He provides abundant help for man, He sends His Grace in great abundance…Man can attain to holiness only in God, not by nature, but by participation, by struggle, by prayer.” (Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem)


“The way you respond to your personal struggles shows your attitude toward God. Rather than becoming angry with God, continue to trust Him, no matter what your circumstances may be. Although it is sometimes difficult to see, God is in control.” (Life Application Study Bible, Job 21:22)


“Our struggles are not about right or wrong, win or lose, can or cannot—they are often just life as it is.” (Leslie Haskin)


“Jesus does not abandon us to our struggles...If we remember that the ultimate victory has already been won, we can claim the peace of Christ in the most troublesome times.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 16:33)


“Christ promises that, through Him, encountering God the Father makes sense of our struggle with life and supports our efforts to bear up under the weight of all that experience ‘dishes out.’” (Dynamis 7/5/2014)


“We should never lose sight that God’s love and grace are always available to us, though sometimes we have to go through struggles.” (Sacramental Living)


"Dear Lord, it is often very difficult to see the "silver lining" in our problems. But we know that You can see the good that is to come for my struggles. Help us to be ever patient and to trust in Your goodness, so that we, too, may see the victories contained in what appeared to be our defeats." (Marianne C. Sailus)


“God gave men and women a natural law within them—the ability to choose the good and avoid the evil…”(Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 8:20-22)


“Overcoming evil depends on whether or not we choose to take up our interior struggle under the shield of divine wisdom. If we choose to go it alone we will surely taste bitterness, emptiness, and defeat. These are unnecessary and tragic, for ultimately evil is a vulnerable foe, an enemy with a fatal flaw. The key to victory, therefore, lies within us and depends upon persisting under the protection of wisdom.” (OCPM 1/27/2016)


“We must pay close attention to everything we do, and struggle to uproot the ferocious beast of egotism that eats away at us. Our ego! When it erupts within us, we become enraged, we criticize, we make demands, we curse, we ridicule and humiliate others. It is a beast! This is what impels us to criticize. This is what inflates us with the idea that we have accomplished great things, that we are good, that we possess virtues and thousands of other things. The origin of all good things is humility. Conversely, the origin of all evils is egotism.” (Papa Demetri)


“The only way we can genuinely live in reality is by discovering and surrendering to the natural movement toward God within each of us. The more this movement takes root in our lives, the more we are able to contemplate the nature of God and His creation.” (Kevin Scherer)


“Christ points toward a realm and a Way that actually is Himself. He is within our souls. He can purify us and help wrest us from the control of every invading enemy.” (OCPM 2/5/2016)


“Indeed, life is a continuous struggle. This struggle of the individual begins the moment he takes the first breath of life. As the years pass, it becomes all the more apparent to us. This struggle of the individual expresses itself in three areas. There is the struggle of the individual with society, the struggle of the individual with self, and the struggle of the individual with God.” (Bishop John of Amorion)


“… everything in nature requires friction to bring about change - a moth to a butterfly, a match and surface to bring about fire - the examples are endless. We human beings require friction as well. …. Yet why is friction actually good? Friction is good as long as we understand it in the context of spiritual struggle and growth…So we need to make a commitment in our heart to stick with our struggle.” (Sacramental Living)


“Your current struggles hold great potential for your spiritual growth. The most difficult circumstance you face is packed with glorious potential if you can see past the fear and pain toward the gift that waits for you.” (Father Barnabas Powell)


“God in His goodness has arranged things perfectly, so that with our gifts, we can help each other, and with our faults, we can be humbled by each other. For every person has some gifts; but everyone also has some faults which one must struggle to overcome.” (St. Paisios of Mount Athos) “


God has not left us alone in our struggles to do His will. He wants to come alongside us and be within us to help.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 2:13)