So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. (Gen. 32:24)

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FIGHT to get what you really want. “Nothing worth having is easy.” My mother used to tell me that over and over. God makes promises and covenants and provides blessings to His people throughout Scripture and time. However, those blessings do not always come easy. Whether like Jacob wrestling all night or Joshua fighting the battles to enter into the Promised Land, we sometimes have to fight for what is ours. In the New Testament, we read of the persistent widow who would not leave the king alone with her constant pleading (Luke 18). Her persistence paid off, and Jesus concluded His story by telling us God responds the same way. Blessings come in the path of obedience, and sometimes obedience is hard. Doing the right thing, seeking God in the midst of injustice, and remaining faithful when things are failing are all characteristics that shape us into people who seek God above all things. Jacob got his blessing, and his life was forever changed. Joshua entered the Promised Land but had to fight for what was promised to him. And after pleading all night to a king who could have easily had her dismissed, the widow got justice.

God’s delay is not God’s denial. He is at work in the bigger picture of our lives. Things we cannot see or do not understand may seem difficult in the moment. Those are the times when we are to stand on God’s promises. Jacob wrestled all night; Joshua was told to be strong and courageous; and the widow showed avid resolve. In this world, your faith will be tested, but if you trust God, you will find strength to overcome.

God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isa. 40:29).

Scott Simmons is the author of the youth discipleship series iFollow (Wesleyan Publishing House) and the youth ministry movement director for The Wesleyan Church.