Fight the Good Fight, Finish the Course, Keep the Faith

Why then do we insist on trying to go it alone?

No matter our determination, our drive, or our desire, there are times in which we know we have reached the limit of our ability to continue in a pursuit or a dream. We absolutely know we can’t do it. We don’t have the skill, the strength, or the wisdom needed. It is exactly at such times that we must look outside of ourselves for additional strength, new ideas, new ways in which to continue moving forward. Why then do we insist on trying to go it alone?

To “finish the course”, as Paul wrote to his dear friend Timothy, we have at our disposal the wisdom of the ages through libraries of books. Many of these are available with a simple Google search on the Internet. The one book, however, that speaks directly to our heart is the Word of God in the Bible.  We also have our friends, family and our community of people who care for us. We can reach out to them for help and assistance. But even more, if we have faith in Christ, we have the unlimited power, strength, and wisdom of God at our side to carry us forward.  Through prayer and reading His Word, we are often able to find answers to the most difficult problems facing us at any moment.

Reach now for your Bible and read Philippians 4:13. It doesn’t say “There is a chance I might be able to do it with God’s help.” Rather, it saysI can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

All things? Is that really true?

Read again the scripture at the top of this article. It ends with “I have kept the faith”. There were just a handful of common men that Christ sent out into a hostile world to spread His good news, His gospel. In some cases, they were fishermen or tax collectors. How then, is it even possible that now, according to the Pew Research Center, there are over 2 billion Christians in the world which will grow to 3 billion by the year 2050?

Cindy and I pray you don’t give up when you “hit a wall” as the saying goes. Instead, you may find the power to continue forward simply by falling to your knees in prayer.

Photograph by John J O’Leary

Knowing Not Defeat or Fear

Faith that brings the triumph

“Oh, for faith that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near!
Oh, for faith that brings the triumph
Into victory’s ringing cheer–
Faith triumphant; knowing not defeat or fear.”
  ~ by Herbert Booth

About the Author
Herbert Henry Howard Booth (26 August 1862 – 25 September 1926) was a salvation army officer. He was the writer and director for “Soldiers of the Cross”, a recruiting show that featured stories of early Christian martyrs.
Source

May our faith never waver, never falter, never fail.

“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
~ 1 John 5:5

Photograph by John J O’Leary

The Reasons Why

Oftentimes He does not reveal His reasons to us.

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:9-13

The poem “The Weaver” by B.M. Franklin has wisdom drawn from this section of scripture. When Paul, the author of this first of two letters to the Corinthians in the Bible, states: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” it is similar to the following section in the poem:

“Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.
Not till the loom in silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.”

If you have ever looked at the underside of a tapestry, you may see many threads and loose ends that obscure the pattern that is only visible from the other side. We may wish to know more about God’s reasons for what He brings into our lives, but oftentimes He does not reveal them to us. It is part and parcel of our need to trust in Him, even in difficult times. By doing so, we open ourselves up to the blessings to come.

Photograph by John J O’Leary