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

Tribulation Brings About Perseverance

”And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
~ Romans 5:3-5

This scripture verse was written by the Apostle Paul to the young church in Rome.  His words outline a chain of events, starting with tribulation – difficult times in our lives. These are the “dark threads” that God weaves into our lives.

Perseverance is to be our response to such difficulties. To persevere means to persist in anything undertaken; to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; to continue steadfastly. The key here is “in spite of difficulty”. We don’t give up! It’s obviously easy to persevere when times are full of sunshine, warmth and laughter. But we grow by persevering when the fiery trials come. It builds “proven character” which leads to “hope”.

Our prayer is that you face tribulation head on, persevere and look forward to the blessings that will come when you do.  Turn to Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior, for help when you feel you no longer have the strength to continue.  He is an ever-present source of strength to those who believe in Him.

Photograph by John J O’Leary