Finding Freedom From Struggle

Many people ask me, “Joyce, how do you live the Christian life?” My answer surprises them. I say, “You can’t live the Christian life.” I then say, “Only God can live it through you!” One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is that we can’t change ourselves—only by God’s grace can we overcome our weaknesses and become more like Him. We struggle and get frustrated when we try to do things apart from His grace and strength. The most frequent prayer we should all pray is, “God, help me!”

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Years ago, when I first started reading the Bible and getting serious about God, I began seeing all the things I needed to change—and there were many. I needed to clean up my mind and my mouth; I had to overcome being so negative and judgmental, and my behavior toward my husband also had to improve. I immediately went to work, trying to do it all myself. But I ended up very frustrated and made little progress. Why? Because I was spending all of my own energy trying to something only God can do.

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Maybe you’re in the same place. You want to break a bad habit or change your behavior in some way, but you are frustrated and discouraged by your lack of progress. Here’s the good news: God never intended for you to do it alone. In fact, there’s nothing worse than trying to fix something only God can fix.
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