Parsing Struggles

When discussing sin and struggles, the tense of the verb matters.

I’ve heard loads of testimonies over the years and it seems that most people speak about their struggles in the past tense. They say things like, “When I first became a Christian, I struggled with/was addicted to/ was beset with _______.” We, as the church, give them grace and (rightfully) praise God for sanctifying this individual and delivering him out of whatever his struggle was. Past tense. Past tense struggles show movement. They show change, growth, sanctification, and should cause rejoicing!

But what about current, present tense struggles. When was the last time someone stood up to share their testimony in the midst of some weighty fight, in the pit, or not able to see their circumstances from the 20/20 perspective of hindsight. Present tense. Big difference. But this is where we live! We struggle currently and continually with sin, situations, circumstances, relationships, addictions, and more. I want to be able to praise in the midst of such struggles, journey with each other through them, and not reserve rejoicing only for past tenses.

In the words of one of my favorite authors, “Struggle well, Beloved.”

Present tense or past tense, praise is possible.

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