One Day at a Time
It is true for any struggle. The only way to secure victory over struggle is by committing to fight every day. Those suffering from addiction do it. Soldiers do it. Even fire fighters do it. No struggle can be defeated without constant effort. Some days you make progress, and others you fall back. All this is true in our worldly struggles, and it is all true in our spiritual struggles.
We wake up. We pray. We go about our day fighting against sin. We get read for bed. We pray. We ask forgiveness for our sins and another chance to ‘get it right’ tomorrow. This only sounds like a lost cause if you are not committed to defeating sin. If you were fighting addiction, you know this is the only way to victory. Being committed to fighting against sin every day is the only you will ever see victory. The saints knew it to be true.
The Church commemorates several martyr saints today. Saints Hermylos and Stratonikos were friends. They stood with each other to defend the truth of Christ in a pagan city. When neither would give up, they were both drown in the Danube River. They didn’t just oppose the pagans once and give up. They stood up over and over to fight the lie of paganism.
Another Saint commemorated today is Saint Hilary of Poitiers, who fought along with Saint Athanasios the Great against Arianism. Saint Hilary was exiled because he refused to agree with the Arian heresy. Defeating the false teachings was not accomplished with one treatise or one sermon. Saint Hilary spent decades until finally Orthodoxy was victorious.
Each of these saints understood that anything worthwhile required daily struggle. Your salvation is worthwhile. Don’t fall victim to the lie that you are worth fighting for. Don’t fall victim to thinking you can’t have victory over sin. You can if you fight one day at a time, just as the saints before you.
Today is a new day. We are still in the ‘new year’ looking ahead to blessings from God. Even if you fell short yesterday, get up again today and give it another try. Even if you had a ‘bad year’ last year, get up and be committed to having a better year. Ask God to forgive the past, and thank for another chance to get it right.