Fight the Good Fight
Be Strong, Be Well — Monday, August 10
As soldiers of Christ we can get battered and worn. Our daily service to our King is not always easy. We need encouragement to faithfully persevere in our life-long commitment as soldiers of the cross.
We are often wounded in the battles of life. These wounds can be inflicted by other people. But at other times, we just might cause our own pain and suffering. It’s not difficult to find examples of both of these in scripture.
On several occasions, Jeremiah was arrested, beaten, and imprisoned by his own people. Shortly before Stephen was stoned to death for preaching the truth, he pointed out how the Jews (as the people of God) killed their own prophets sent to them by God (Acts 7:51-52).
We might be able to understand how worldly authorities could inflict suffering on godly people. Heathen rulers commanded Paul and Silas to be beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16:16-24). Peter and John were treated badly (Acts 4 and 5). But it’s hard for us to imagine God’s people hurting God’s people.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of how God’s faithful ones can be mistreated, hated, falsely accused, and even killed, just because they were striving to be faithful and true to God and His will. And the people who did these despicable acts were the very leaders of God’s people!
If we’re not careful, the source of spiritual affliction can be from ourselves. Former faithful service in God’s army, is never a guarantee that we won’t stumble and fall.
We have examples in scripture that teach us this truth. Look at Moses, Noah, David, and Peter (on several occasions—Matthew 26; Galatians 2). At the same time the scriptures also teach us there is hope and forgiveness.
As soldiers of the cross we can recover from all wounds—those inflicted by others or those inflicted by our own hands. Yes, we can get battered and worn in our daily service to our King. But with encouragement, prayer, meditation on God’s word, help and support from fellow soldiers, we can faithfully persevere to the end.
We can join Paul in saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).—Chris