Withstanding Struggle

Youth Daily Devotional Blog: 06/22

Written by: Intern Sam B. Nguyen
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:10-14

When I was young, my father and I would go out fishing a lot. Summers were spent on the pier, lines cast out as far as possible with a bucket growing full of mackerel by the side. These times were really the only time that my father and I spent together. He worked almost all days of the week, and we really didn’t share many hobbies, but he raised me with a fondness for the smell of the ocean and the slow, methodical wait for fish. It was during these fishing trips that I really got to know my dad, particularly in the stories he told me about his youth in Vietnam. Having grown up in war-torn Vietnam, he was familiar with some of the deepest struggles that a person could face, and some of the deepest losses that a child could face.

It’s hard for me to quite comprehend what his life was like as a child, or even as a young man. It’s even harder for me to understand how he managed to pull through all of that strife and struggle. In all of the stories, though, he remains true to one thing — an overwhelming trust in God. He knew that, no matter what, he could survive whatever he was going through. If not by his own ability, then by God’s.

Paul reflects this hardfast faith as he closes his letter to the Philippians, stating that he “can do all things through him who strengthens” (Phillipians 4:13). God builds us up, and strengthens us in times of strife. When we are worn down or broken down by struggle and strife, God offers us healing and protects our spirits.