Victorious Struggle: A Great Triumph of Grace

The letters of C.S. Lewis are a treasure trove of spiritual encouragement. In a letter to a former student, Bede Griffiths, Lewis discusses the issue of a person who struggles with homosexual temptations. He encouraged Griffith to consider the struggle itself, though not unmarked by failure, as a “great triumph of Grace.”

Here’s the letter from May 28, 1952

“The stories you tell about two [homosexuals] belong to a terribly familiar pattern: the man of good will, saddled with an abnormal desire which he never chose, fighting hard and time after time being defeated. But I question whether in such a life the successful operation of Grace is so tiny as we think. Is not this continued avoidance either of presumption or despair, this ever renewed struggle, itself a great triumph of Grace? Perhaps more so than (to human eyes) equable virtue of some who are psychologically sound.”

This short letter from C.S. Lewis reminds me of something I heard a Christian leader once say to young men, “The struggle is the victory.” His point was that we cannot allow defeat to keep us from trying to please Christ. We might fall down but we are expected to get back up and press on. He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it, Scripture tells us.

As Pastor Tony Evans said in a sermon clip featured on Lecrae’s new album, “Take all the years of your addiction, add them together, and the verse [James 4:6] still says ‘He gives greater grace.'” Don’t quit. Don’t give up. The victory is in the struggle. After all, is the struggle itself not a great triumph of grace?