Tuesday, 22 January 2019

C Columns

Real Man's Toolbox: Even Strong Men Struggle

By Leo Hellyer

Men, there is one very important thing to remember as we proceed on the journey that God has each of us on, and that is: Even Strong Men Struggle. It really doesn’t matter whether we are a Tier-One operator in the military, a very successful pastor and author, or a Christian man trying to live a God-honoring life; all of us struggle from time-to-time. We must remember that even as we struggle we cannot give up the fight. The fight is ours to win.

As I was preparing this column, God placed two books in my hands, written by two very different godly men. The books are “Seal of God” by Chad Williams, who was a member of Seal Team Seven, and “He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle” by Bishop T.D. Jakes, who is the author of many bestselling books and is the founder and pastor of The Potter’s House.

As we face our individual journey we face many emotions, or as Bishop Jakes calls them, “He-Motions.” We face success or failure, fear or heroism, anxiety or comfort, motivation or apathy, to name a few. Our emotions, and how we use them, determine who we will be in life. A big part of which emotions we present most often depends on if we are trying to face life on our own or through God’s strength and direction.

Without a doubt we will face many challenges in our lives. We will have physical, emotional, relational, career, and spiritual challenges in our lives as a minimum. As Christian men we must remember that we don’t have to face these challenges alone. The Holy Spirit is with us every step of every day. We have access to the God of Creation to empower us to successfully face our challenges in life. Men who face their challenges full on and straightforward are Real Men. As Max Lucado says in the forward to Bishop Jakes’ book, “Real Men pray, Real Men open up to friends, Real Men cherish their wives and love their children, Real Men kneel at the cross.”

One of the many noteworthy statements from Bishop Jakes in this book is, “Obstacles don’t have to be boulders in our path; they can be stepping stones to a higher purpose.”

How well we succeed in facing or overcoming our challenges depends greatly upon the attitude we have as we approach those challenges. Bishop Jakes also says, “Hold yourself up to the light of who God intends for you to be, and look for the steps He has carved into the rocks of life for you. Look yourself in the eye and dare to hope again that your dreams are still alive, still attainable. Keeping this hope alive, and pursuing it with every ounce of your strength, is what fuels your journey as a man in the process of fulfilling his manhood.”

Men, we all face a lot of distractions in our lives. It is very easy for us to get off track and have our lives get out of focus. It is like we need a new prescription for our glasses, or maybe we just need to clean our glasses. God is available, eager, willing and able to take us through any struggle that we may be facing. God loves us so much that He doesn’t force Himself upon us; He waits eagerly for us to ask Him to lead us, redirect us, or carry us if that is what we need.

It is a well-known fact that Navy Seals are tough, self-reliant men; but in reality, they need God in their lives to conquer the struggles they face in life as well. Some of the at-home struggles that a Seal may face can be much more daunting than the struggles he may face in combat. But whether at home or in combat, God is there to help us conquer our struggles. Chad Williams was initially responding out of hate, revenge, anger and pride when he began training to become a SEAL; then he found the love of Jesus and he became a new man. Chad was still a SEAL, but his heart and life followed Jesus.

When Chad went a church meeting held by author and pastor Greg Laurie, Greg talked about the story of Naaman, and about what Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Chad realized that Christ had done exactly that for him, and he turned his life over to Christ. Chad continued to serve as a Seal for a time and then left the military and went into full-time ministry.

Just because we are Christian men, it doesn’t mean that we will not face struggles in our lives. We will have challenges and struggles. There is spiritual warfare going on for our lives on a daily basis. Satan will send abundant distractions and situations into our lives to test our faith and commitment. If we keep our eyes and hearts looking toward Jesus, we will be successful in overcoming our struggles.

Read these two books, ask God to speak to you through these books, and then praise Him as you are blessed when you face your struggles head-on.

We will have challenges in life, but we will be victorious over our challenges if we face them with God’s strength and not our own.

Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 208-340-5544.

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