As happens so frequently, I was repairing my infected PC the other day and was setting there, patiently watching the progress bar crawl across the screen. It seemed that it was never moving. I am waiting for the repairs to be completed as my system was being restored to it's "pristine" state. I will digress a bit to say I am a Macintosh person. I used to sell them 20 years ago, I love them, I prefer them, they don't have nearly the problems with viruses, or directory issues, system errors etc.
I have to use PC's for work. I recently quit my job where one of the many jobs I had was the IT manager. Therefore, I had to deal with the constant need to deal with the frustrating plethora of restores, debuggings, etc. necessary to keep everything working. It was very disheartening and frustrating. I seemed to never be able to get the upper hand on the problems. Which brings me to my point. As I'm setting there watching the slow progress bar declaring my success in restoring the system to its proper healthy state, I had the thought... "Man I wish I had a "Progress bar" to show me how far along I am on restoring my life to the proper healthy state. I wish I knew how well I was really doing in overcoming my problems that I struggle with.
Wouldn't it be great if as you struggle with overcoming the addiction of Porn or sex, or drugs, etc. you could visualize how far you have come in battling your issue? So many times it appears just like it does with my computer repairs, I just get one problem fixed, or have success in one area and I have a "system failure" in another area. When you get hammered like that it is so tempting to just give up. "Man, I will never be done with this garbage. Why do I even try anymore?" Galatians encourages me with the following:
Galatians 5:1-7 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?"
It is so tempting at times, especially understanding that as I am fighting this fight, I have an enemy that wants me to quit more than I do. But I can't give up. I have to finish because I know I can with God's help. In fact it's really only with God's help that I can.
This is such a pervasive topic in scripture that we need to understand, God knows what we are attempting is very difficult. He knows we need the encouragement of His Word to us to be able to continue. Below are just a few of teh scriptures admonishing us to keep chugging away.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
2Th 3:13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Ro 2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life.
1Pe 2:15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
1Pe 3:17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1Pe 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Isa 40:30-31 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
If we just had the "System Restore Progress Bar" for our lives, and realized how close we may actually be to victory, it certainly would be easier to "feel" the success we are having and have the courage to continue. But perhaps, being the way we are, we would get lazy and complacent, thinking, "Wow, I'm almost there. I can relax a bit." Which may in fact be our downfall. So perhaps the point is to just keep fighting the fight. Fight for what we know we want and don't get discouraged by periodic failures and deep struggles. After all, it is referred to as a fight not a game of chess. Keep it up everyone, you may be closer than you think.