The struggle is real seems to be the latest catch phase when experiencing a difficult situation. One might used that phase when being questioned on why they were late for work. Or even when you just can’t seem to get your together, the phase the struggle is real can be said. In today’s world, we deal with daily struggles but as a Christian we know that with God’s help we will overcome them.
The youth department at Friendly COGIC held a one night Revival Fire on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. themed, “The Struggle is Real: Be Still. Be Strong. Be Steadfast. Be Encouraged.” coming from Isaiah 41:10 with subtopics The service began with an opening selection by the Friendly Combined Youth Choir followed by prayer by Missionary Tara Wheat. One of Friendly’s newest members, Brother James Davis, read the theme scripture and little Ms. Antuniyah Whitfield gave us the occasion by asking God to “fill our hearts with fire and set our souls with flame.” It was only right for the Praise and Worship team, Generation of Praise, to take the service higher with the song, “I wish somebody soul would catch on fire.” Needless to say this service was going to be hot!
The presider, Minister Brian Edwards, introduced the first speaker Brother Christopher Harris. Brother Harris spoke on the subtopic, Be still and he added and remember coming from Psalms 46:10. He explained it is not easy being a youth in Christ due to many distractions, such as friends and social media. But the one thing that everybody has is a choice and with that choice we can choose which road we want to travel. Brother Harris listed four ways a Christian can stray.
1. The feeling of wanting to be accepted. Accepted by friends, family members and social societies.
2. Thinking that we can handle everything on our own. Never wanting to ask for help. Being hardheaded and stubborn but when that overwhelming feeling comes, refer to Psalms 37:7.
3. Being physically and spiritually exhausted. Just wanting to give up because of tiredness. But the word of the Lord says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
4. Forgetting who we are. Not realizing that we are set apart and have a called on our life. Remember He called us. Refer to 1 Peter 2:9-10 whenever that forgetful spirit comes. Brother Harris summed up his topic by informing the body of Christ that the busier you are doing “other stuff,” you will miss out on what God wants and has for you to do. The further we stray, the weaker our relationship with God gets.
Be strong and steadfast was presented by Brother Joseph P. Washington, III and his scripture reference was I Corinthians 15: 57-58. Brother Washington reminded the people that in order to be steadfast, the mind has to be made up; completely relentless while fighting in the midst of. He brought out the scripture Genesis 32: 24-28 where it talks about Jacob wrestling with God while his hip was out of joint. Jacob told God hat he will not let go until God blesses him. Those verses gave Brother Washington some strength and power. He told the congregation that night that you have to pray. Pray to your source because you will need Him. He also said to condition yourself for the battle by fasting and consecration. When the flesh is weak, fill up in the spirit. And the last and final thought Brother Washington had was to confess the word. Tell of the goodness of the Lord. We are overcomers by the word of our testimony. While being steadfast be of good courage. It’s all right to pat yourself on the back and encourage yourself through the scriptures.
After those powerful words coming from the young men at Friendly, it was time for offering and a selection by the Friendly Combined Youth Choir entitles, “I’m Chasing After You.” Minister Edwards introduced the last speaker for the evening, Brother Reginald James and he spoke on Be Encouraged from Isaiah 41:10. In true Brother James form, he started off with a song called, “The Struggle is Real” using the same melody from John P. Kee song, “Jesus is Real.” “The scripture text in intended for warning and encouragement,” stated Brother James. The struggle is often viewed as a negative but it is also a positive. The struggle brings us closer to God. The struggle causes you to take a look at your situations and take ownership of your responsibility. Brother James encouraged the young people to stay encouraged through the struggle because it will only get intense; therefore your relationship with God will have to become more intense. How? Through reading, believing, and living His word. Brother James provided a ‘How to breakdown the scripture class’ for the church. He took the theme scripture, Isaiah 41:10, which reads, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: but not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” To breakdown the scripture start by replacing some of the words. For this scripture replace the following: Thee = you, thy = your, and yea = yes. Now if it needs to be broken down more, look up the definition and replace with a word you understand better. Brother James took breaking the scripture a step further and translated it into today’s form of communication, emoji’s. In closing out his message, he stated not to be intimidated or discouraged because the struggle you’re going though is real because so is YOUR God!
An altar call was made and Pastor Boyd prayed for those who wanted prayer while Minister Edwards anointed them with oil. Announcements were made and the benediction was given. As the church cleared out, the saint’s hearts were filled with fire and souls were set with flame. The young people at Friendly are on fire for the Lord and there is no stop, drop, or roll that can put it out.