To struggle is "to be strenuously engaged with a problem, a task, or an undertaking; to make a strenuous effort, to strive." To strive means "to exert much effort or energy; endeavor.”

Struggling and striving are initiations. The candidate for ascension initiation knows that the greatest struggle is with the self, and the only real conflicts are internal. The struggle with conflicting desires, internal and external, builds character: As John Adams said, "People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity."

Edna Lister on Struggling and Striving

Let us ever strive to lift all that any of us can do in blunder and mistaken ideas, and struggle that we may all reach the high goal of Christ Jesus — loving one another, sacrificing self for each other and above all, giving to each that glorious understanding.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1938.

All your struggles and striving have been garnered into a perfect whole for new expression.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

Be diligent in all your ways, lest self, the enemy, steals in subtle ways what you have earned in such travail and struggle of soul and spirit.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

Strive ever for the Light.—Edna Lister, January 22, 1939.

Cease your struggle and striving toward something you already are and have. Strengthen yourself with obedience to law, full knowledge of which will strengthen you for any future outer work.—Edna Lister, March 24, 1939.

The Master’s "blood of the Lamb" runs in a continuous stream throughout earth, washing the feet of those who follow him, and strive to overcome by walking where his feet have trod.—Edna Lister, December 19, 1939.

To buckle down and finish your debt-paying rapidly is best, struggling through its mire, searching, seeking, striving.—Edna Lister, February 22, 1940.

Your faith must be so great that you take greatly from life. Strive for the whole loaf, not just one slice.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1941.

You can conquer only by struggle, sacrificing the hurts, pain and sorrow.—Edna Lister, September 22, 1944.

If you strive toward full surrender of all self, Light will increase your strength to all ability to know instantly what to do and how to accomplish what you must do.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1944.

God rewards you for each struggle. Each small bit of self, lifted as a precious gift to Him, calls forth an avalanche of joy from His heart of love.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1945.

God takes your ever-ascending struggle to conquer past selfishness into account and makes it outer gain for you.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1945.

Remain constant in your thinking and determination to strive and struggle until you have won. Nothing is too hard to do, no effort is too great or too long to make, no goal too distant to attain.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1945.

Everything you strive to do, you will accomplish, if you do not become lazy.—Edna Lister, July 4, 1945.

The Master’s Path is a long, continued struggle with the lower self until you pay all soul debts in full.—Edna Lister, July 10, 1945.

Each time you struggle, even if you fail, you gain more strength to win the next battle.—Edna Lister, July 11, 1945.

To be fully responsible to law is to strive to be responsible for every deed, thought, desire, imagining, emotion, and word to the full extent of the law.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1945.

Constantly struggle. Unless you struggle in your soul work, you slip backward. Soul greatness consists in the ability to stand the supreme test of endurance.—Edna Lister, July 21, 1945.

Struggling and suffering is better than to make no advance. Hard work and long hours won’t hurt you. Only self, pulling against the soul’s advance, can damage or weaken.—Edna Lister, December 5, 1945.

List as many details as you desire to make perfect as soul habits, then strive to become a law for each.—Edna Lister, February 14, 1946.

Strive mightily against all darkness left from your past, for overcoming is a mighty battle with the self until you have fully conquered it.—Edna Lister, March 25, 1946.

God is all love, health, wealth, peace, joy, Power, Light, good, beauty, charity, all attributes and principles that you strive to become.—Edna Lister, May 31, 1946.

As you strive to make 1,000 burnt offerings of self, for 1,000 days of perfection, you move toward success.—Edna Lister, May 19, 1947.

When you want perfection as badly as though you were drowning and reaching for air, then you will work for it. It is a struggle and you must fight for it.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Those whose struggles to full self-surrender and self-sacrifice have awakened their Oversouls, are never allowed to descend into darkness, nor are ever touched by darkness.—Edna Lister, January 24, 1950.

You must strive, and must eventually be, absolute perfection in attention to detail on earth.—Edna Lister, June 9, 1950.

It takes a heroic struggle to overcome the earth taints of self.—Edna Lister, October 21, 1952.

It is a long struggle up out of the quicksand of self.—Edna Lister, November 9, 1953.

You gain your soul’s place with most strenuous struggle and rigid discipline.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1957.

The struggle against self is the true battleground of the Armageddon, for Light must win over darkness in people’s hearts before the physical victory can take place.—Edna Lister, December 16, 1957.

Strive for soul expression, which is a perfected self-expression.—Edna Lister, February 4, 1958.

Living at the white point of heat is hard, but you must strive.—Edna Lister, February 6, 1958.

Every struggle of the Elect to overcome delays and frustrations releases tenfold power of love to absorb evil.—Edna Lister, March 23, 1959.

The greater credits go to those whose struggle is like unto the Master, and whose capacity is inexhaustible.—Edna Lister, February 4, 1960.

Every tiny, simple thing you do counts in the finale. The harder it is to bear, the greater the struggle, the greater the lifting of earth. Small actions count much more than lifting the self. When you struggle until your prayers become fervent, then enough devotion is left over to lift darkness from earth. When you put all the prayers together, it is very great.—Edna Lister, May 8, 1960.

"A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men."—Proverbs 18:16. When a man struggles and serves, his gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.—Edna Lister, May 12, 1960.

You see and hear spiritually in exact proportion to your present fervor. The struggle toward seeing and hearing must reach a certain, high intensity to be complete.—Edna Lister, May 19, 1960.

As you strive for high perfection, you must expend greater effort.—Edna Lister, February 12, 1966.

Recording angels write your every struggle to conquer in your Book of Life.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1966.

You earn the greatest portion of your reward because of your struggle to conquer your idle tongue.—Edna Lister, February 22, 1968.

God sent us forth from eternity and we have struggled to transcend time and space.—Edna Lister, February 14, 1971.

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New Testament on Struggling and Striving

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.—Matthew 26:36-41.

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Old Testament on Struggling and Striving

And [Jacob] rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.—Genesis 32:22-31.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of struggle: Middle English, struglen, "conflict."

Etymology of strive: Middle English striven, from Old French estriver, from estrit, estrif, "quarrel."

Struggling and striving are initiations.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.