“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” -Frederick Douglass
Jacob’s name in Hebrew meant, “supplanting.” This name was appropriate, because he’d swindled his older brother Esau out of his birthright and blessing. One night, however, an angel of God wrestled Jacob. After struggling until daybreak, the angel told Jacob to let him go. Jacob replied, “Not until you bless me.” The angel asked Jacob, “What is your name?” Jacob told him, and then the angel replied, “Your name is now Israel, because you’ve struggled with God and prevailed.” In effect, the name change represented a character change, and God turned this swindler into a prince. Israel’s lesson is true for you and me, too: When we continue holding on to God in faith, eventually He will bless us. God can answer prayers and turn our situations around; and in doing so, He seeks to make our character more like His own.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thes. 5:16-18, ESV).