Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we seek to understand the quality of the struggle.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Quality of the Struggle
"Jesus said, 'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the
world ye shall have tribulation: But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'" John,
Chapter 16, Verse 33.
It was a slam dunk
As he effortlessly soared,
Glided and the ball he sunk
Into the basket. Strain he ignored.
Brothers and sisters, in previous broadcasts we have dealt with the necessity of struggle and the love
of struggle. Now we deal with the quality of struggle. I remember an occasion when my daughter
was in college, taking some rigorous courses. When she would complain about how difficult the
courses were, I would ask her, "have you found out yet how good you are?" When at the end of the
course she would make an A, I told her that was good but that she still hadn't found out how good
she was. During the course of her struggle with the course work, I would explain to her that her
strong emotional responses, stress, and feeling overwhelmed was nothing more than the conscious
repercussions of her mind and body gearing up for the new challenge.
We know that we are in the process of actualizing potentials that are concealed within us. We are
in the process of becoming more than we are, even the process of becoming perfect even as the
heavenly Father is perfect. We do this in obedience to his command, which requires our supreme
efforts. If we are to be supremely perfect, than must the effort and the quality of struggle be supreme.
The effort must be sufficient to engage the gear of potentiality which will turn the wheel of actuality.
While most us would love to have a life that is depicted by the short poem near the beginning of the
broadcast, we should understand that in that scenario no new potentials are being actualized. He is
merely exercising the skill, the power, that is natural for him to do so. There is no emotional
response, no stress, no adaptation, no new knowledge, no new wisdom, and no new status. Just
because he starts out on a level that is above most of his peers does not signify that he is growing.
His struggling teammates are making more progress than he is. If you start at a higher level of
functioning, you are supposed to move to an even higher level and not just rest on your laurels. The
levels of growth are established for each individual based upon the potentials that they have, and the
quality of the struggle is based on the same principles.
There are three levels of growth in any given experience. First there is the quality of struggle that
requires slight effort or no effort at all; next, there is the quality of struggle that requires the effort
that matches the present level of growth, and lastly there is the quality of struggle that overwhelms
the present capacity of the individual.
Level One: A level at which there is no pressure. This level of struggle does not bring any attainment
and is manifested by boredom in the life of the person. This person is characterized by a lazy mental
outlook; he does not seek to become more than he is. He is satisfied with his present condition. He
believes in letting things remain as they are. This situation not only characterizes the person who is
not trying but also characterizes the person who is not using his present abilities to the fullest (e.g.
the example given in the poem). He doesn't realize he is losing ground morally and spiritually.
Level Two: A level at which there is slight pressure, but it is more like a nice exercise that leaves
one feeling tired in a pleasant way. This is the exercise of present capabilities and signifies that the
person is using all of his present abilities to deal with the situation. This is a good feeling, an
emotional high, as the person enjoys his competence. This level excites a pleasant emotional
response as the self tastes the sweetness of another routine victory. This might also be the level that
has been obtained after a rigorous struggle, as the person enjoys a respite from the unrelenting
struggle of moral and spiritual growth.
Level Three: A level at which pressure of the struggle is overwhelming. This level of struggle
requires potentials to be actualized. This level is characterized by quite a bit of emotional turmoil,
where failure is a distinct possibility. It is when the delays of time and the handicaps of space move
from the potential to an actual experience. This level is the one that brings about the sleepless nights
as the self struggles for the wherewithal to meet the overwhelming challenge. This kind of challenge
is sustaining in its moral and spiritual aspects. This sustained struggle with unactualized potential
is the gear that turns the wheel of potential into the wheel of actuality.
In the business of obeying the Father's will, life rapidly moves from slight attainment of effort,
through comfortable effort, to the supreme effort, where the self is calling forth all the potentials at
its disposal, subject to the delays of time and the handicaps of space. And when such a one agrees
to fight this struggle, Jesus says these comforting words to him: "I will not leave you comfortless.
I will come to you. I will not forsake you."
He remains unmoved morally and spiritually after any and all waters of adversity and stands in the
presence of his heavenly Father unmoved by temporal realities, freely basking in the eternal realities
of truth, beauty, and goodness, fully confident that he has in spirit obeyed the injunction to be perfect
even as the heavenly Father is perfect.
This concludes today's message on understanding the quality of the struggle. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.