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When Strivings Cease: How to Move Forward When Your Efforts Aren't Enough

Posted by Samantha DePeel

June 23, 2022

At some point or another, you reach that breaking point.

Whatever your efforts are to be the perfect mom, wife, daughter, co-worker or friend, at some point you'll come to a stopping point, exhausted by your efforts. You cannot be everything you want to be; at least, not by your own strength. This realization is not a fun one to have. It's often painful and humbling.

Try as you might, you are not God.

If you've been feeling overwhelmed by your inability to be everything to everyone, we are with you, and hope to provide some encouragement from Scripture for you today.

Here are two ways to move forward when strivings cease—when your efforts aren't enough to grant you the life you're so desperately chasing after. 

Couple hiking in the desert

Recognize the Lie of the Good Life

Why do we push ourselves so hard? How do we expect so much of us? Well, it all goes back to believing that if we simply try hard enough, we'll have a life of relative ease and comfort. We will have "the good life"—one of little pain and suffering, one where money is never an issue, and happiness abounds.

There is something to be said for trying your best at whatever you tackle in life and expecting good things to come from the end result. However, optimism is not the problem here—perfection is.

If we've been chasing after a life of comfort, then we've somehow believed that we can be rewarded from our efforts, that we can earn our holiness.

God never promises us a life free of struggle. Consider John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Take a moment to reflect on this verse and consider the hope we have in Jesus. Yes, on our own we are deeply flawed beings and we will make mistakes. It's in our nature. However, we're not meant to stop at this realization alone—we're meant to next acknowledge who exactly we serve and how He empowers us and is ultimately everything we need in life, despite our weaknesses.

First, accept you cannot do everything on your own, and are not meant to. Open yourself up to this realization and let God free you from this toxic mindset. Next, get ready for God to move in powerful ways!

Woman running in field

Remember: We Serve an Almighty God

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." ~ Psalm 73:26.

This verse pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? It's not a matter of if our heart and flesh may fail, it's a matter of when. The authors of Scripture knew we needed these comforting words, all these years later. They knew we'd needed this reminder that we can't do everything (and we weren't made to!). This problem of striving is nothing new.

You cannot let your weaknesses or inability to be perfect be your stopping point. No, this is where God's radical grace shines through.

Think of it this way: in our weakness, God's power is made manifest. Just like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

So take heart, friend. Your faith journey is long and has its many twists and turns, and you will struggle at times. That's just part of living life in a broken world, but know that you serve a God that has overcome the world! Not only is He perfect in every way, but He has promised to be with us every step of the way, guiding us with His love and wisdom.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

To close, we're sharing the lyrics from the song that inspired this blog post, In Christ Alone:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Remember His Love

Inspirational Christian t-shirt

We hope this blog post reminds you of how empowered you are through Christ. He loves you more than we could ever express and He is holding you close today! Sometimes, the best way to make it through the day is by having that little reminder of God's love. In fact, that's why we create our Christian t-shirts and accessories! They also serve as timely reminders of the hope we have in our Lord.