Most every Thursday I gladly open my home to my friends where we share a delicious meal & have a relaxed Bible discussion in my living room. We call it “Grill’n & Chill’n.” Our purpose is to: “Have Fun, Make Friends, Think Deeply.” (something I borrowed from my friend “Little John” in Taiwan. :)) This past week one of my good Bro’s, Bruno, had a great idea for a topic: “How to deal with trials & challenges in work, life, relationships.”
So, last night 15+ people packed into my living room and we watched a 15 minute clip on Combat Veteran & MMA fighter, Chad “Robo” Robichaux.
Disclaimer: I believe that “fighting” or defense training is a necessary skill in which select men still need to be trained in order to protect society in a “fallen” world, (such as in times of war or chaos), and it’s readily observable that boys grow up “rehearsing” such fight skills instinctively. That being said, I do not condone “fighting as entertainment.”
Chad Robichaux has an incredible story that transcends wrestling and resonates across SO MANY points of brokenness in our own lives. For anyone who woke up this morning and felt acutely that “the struggle Is real,’ I’d encourage you to take 15 minutes and hear Chad’s story of redemption.
BELOW ARE FIVE QUESTIONS—BIBLICAL TRUTHS—FROM CHAD’s STORY:
ONE: WHO IS IN YOUR CORNER, FIGHTING FOR YOU? “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
We need people in our lives who are praying for us, rooting for us, encouraging us, holding us accountable, engaging us in genuine friendship, brotherhood, sisterhood. Do you have someone (?) that you can sit down with, take off the mask, and say, “this is what I’m struggling with.” If you don’t, pray and ask God to send you someone. Reach out to your friends who consistently model the love of Christ.
TWO: HAVE YOU SUBMITTED YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST? “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” —Jesus, John 15:5
You can’t save yourself! Have you come to this realization yet? Our greatest struggle isn’t outside of us; it’s in our heart. We are born with a “sin” nature that causes us to “war” against ourselves, against those we love, and ultimately against God. (see Romans 3:23, Romans 7:14-20) Only Christ has the power to set us free; to save us from this struggle. He offers it to you, by faith! “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
THREE: ARE YOU BEING TRAINED? “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40
Jesus carefully, intentionally trained 12 ordinary dudes for a period of 2-3 years, and then he unleashed a disciple-making movement when he commissioned these 12 disciples to go and train others. (Matt 28:19-20) The world has never been the same. He invites you to have your entire life transformed when he says, “Come follow me…” (Matt 4:19) Everything we need to know about life, relationships, trials, struggles, situational ethics, so forth can be found in God’s Word. Get trained! If you don’t know who to ask, then message me. I’ll help you.
FOUR: ARE YOU LIVING REDEMPTIVELY? “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
To live “redemptively” is to freely extend the same grace, love, patience, forgiveness, and reconciliation that we freely receive in Christ. It’s to stop blame-shifting, and take ownership of our faults & failures. Who have you hurt? Who is bleeding because of you? Go and make things right. Start down the long, hard path of restoration and healing.
FIVE: WHOSE CORNER ARE YOU IN? “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Who are you helping? What purpose are you serving? How are you helping others in their struggles? As my good brother, Charles, highlighted this Thursday, once we have experienced the comfort of God in our own trials (often through others) we are in a position to share that comfort with those around us. (II Cor. 1:4)
Next time you’re up against the ropes, remember “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
The struggle is real. Struggle well!