Saturday Sermon: Fighting the good fight
By Shan Jackson
June 22, 2012 at 1:22 a.m.
Though I am using the word loosely, some "battles" are fought and can be instantly won (i.e. passing tests at school, playing video games, solving a puzzle in the newspaper, or winning at a sporting event).
We generally occupy ourselves with these type of battles because they give us instantaneous gratification, and bring us a measure of pleasure and self-assurance.
Other battles are fought, however, which take a good while to be won (i.e. graduating from high school or college, getting a promotion at work, or entering into retirement).
We can see the need for fighting these kinds of battles because there is a significant achievement to be realized at the end, and once we have achieved this level, we can move on to other things, having won this battle in our lives.
There are still other battles, however, that are ongoing and we will never, in this life, completely win until we conquer them in death. These battles are often bitter and constant and daily efforts with which we must struggle on a regular basis.
These battles are a hard thing for our society to accept because we are so accustomed to, for instance, complex crimes being solved in a one-hour TV program, sporting events ending in just a few hours, etc. These battles are ongoing and are only won with the continued fighting of it. These are not battles that can be won, and never be fought again.
My point is this: We need to realize that living the Christian life is this latter kind of battle. If we realize and accept this truth, we will have a great weight lifted from our heart and soul.
The person who is constantly telling himself, "I've got to win today, today, today," will soon find himself hopelessly burned out in trying to achieve this task. Why? Because living the Christian life is only something that is won while we continue the struggle (as strange as that might sound).
Paul told Timothy, "Fight the good fight of the faith" (1 Timothy 6:12) and "wage the good battle" (1 Timothy 1:18). It was a battle that Paul was only expecting Timothy to win by continuing to fight it. Life's battles continue in different forms and fashions. Difficulty is simply a part of human existence.
Therefore, we need to recognize that today we fight the battle - and that our victory is in our faith on a daily basis, and through this we will overcome these struggles, not in this life, but in the eternal life to come.
But for today, if we have struggled and supplied our best, then we have won. John writes, "For whosoever is born of God can overcome the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world - even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
Shan Jackson if the pastor of Port Lavaca Church of Christ.