The Fight of Faith

The apostle Paul gave the following admonition to Timothy.  1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  Just like Timothy, you are in a fight of faith. 

You are in this fight because you have faith.  You believe that there is a God who created everything (Romans 1:19-21).  You believe that God sent His son into the world so that you can be saved from your sin and receive eternal life (John 3:16).  You believe that since Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead that you also will be resurrected after this life (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).  You have faith and you are willing to live your life being a follower of Jesus.

It is a fight of faith because the Devil wants you to lose your faith and thus lose the fight.  You can lose your faith by having doubts.  That is similar to the tactic that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden.  Gen 3:1-5 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’  And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’’  Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”  The serpent wanted the woman to doubt what God had said.  The popular media today addresses evolution as if it were a fact; this can cause you to doubt that God created everything.  Today, many doubt the truths about God and Jesus that are found in the Bible.  Even if you believe the Bible, you can doubt that the promises given by God are really true.  “Does He really love me?  Will He give me strength to overcome?  Is He really with me in my trials?  Do all things work together for my good?  Does He really answer prayers?  Is there really a resurrection and a judgement day?”  Such doubts can cause you to lose your fight of faith.

You can lose your faith because of tribulation or persecution.  In explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus gave the following description.  Mark 4:16-17 “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”  Life is filled with problems.  Maybe some tragedy or difficult situation has come into your life.  Hardships in life can cause you to lose your faith, stumble and lose the fight.  Instead, strengthen your faith.  Problems should be a reason to strengthen your faith and trust in God.  He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

You can weaken your faith by being caught up in the things of the world.  In further explanation of the parable of the sower, Jesus gave the following.  Mark 4:18-19 “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”  It is easy to be like everyone else in the world and get caught up in the struggle of life.  Maybe it is just earning a living or maybe it is trying to get material comforts or possessions or pleasures.  The desire for the things of this life can be very strong.  While you may not totally lose your faith, the things of this world can make you unfruitful for God.  As a result, you will at best be providing a weak fight of faith.

If you are fighting a strong fight of faith, what does it look like?  You strengthen your faith through study and meditation on God’s word (Romans 10:17).  You research the lies of the world to be ready to give an answer for your faith (1 Peter 3:15).  You pray often to receive God’s guidance and blessing.  You trust in His promises.  You deny yourself the lusts of your flesh, the lusts of your eyes and pride (1 John 2:15-17) and instead humble yourself before God and seek his righteousness.  The writer of the book of Hebrews describes the men and women of faith in the 11th chapter.  Then he states in Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Lay aside every weight that may be slowing you down; lay aside the sin that ensnares you; fight the good fight with endurance.  The apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “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.”  Paul had fought the fight of faith to the end of his life and was eager to receive the inheritance and reward promised by God.

Your faith is precious (2 Peter 1:1).  Don’t lose it or let it grow weak.  Fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life.