"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
In his final encouragement to Timothy, the Apostle Paul gave inspiring proclamations of his faithfulness in three key areas: He “fought the good fight,” “finished the race,” and “kept the faith.” Life comes with many obstacles and setbacks, but if Paul could keep his faith and finish his race, considering the extremity of his obstacles, setbacks, and persecution, we should be encouraged that we can do the same! Paul was onto something by highlighting these three commitments. At face value, they might seem like random attributes Paul came up with, but looking throughout scripture, we find that each of these commitments is interwoven into each story of redemption.
What are you fighting for or against? We are broken people in a broken world fighting something-—Fighting for freedom from anxiety or depression, insecurity, loneliness, self-doubt, seemingly impossible circumstance, or maybe, for a loved one who needs to experience Jesus’ life-changing power.
The definition of fight is “to engage in battle, attempt to defend oneself against or to subdue, defeat or destroy an adversary.” As believers, we are in a serious battle this side of heaven! Don’t be surprised when things go wrong. What did Jesus say? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), but Jesus came to give us abundant life. He, alone, has the best purpose and plan for our hope and future. You may feel little to no opposition if you are “harmless” to His Kingdom’s advancements. But when you are dangerous to the enemy’s plans by living life building the Kingdom of God, you should expect conflict! The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus is with us, guiding us and giving us peace. Our ultimate reward is an eternity with Him.
Call to Action: Read and pray over these scriptures, allowing them to transform your vision for what it looks like to live for the Kingdom of God.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12.)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (Romans 5:3-5).
Prayer: Almighty God, we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to rest upon us and strengthen us, especially when we feel weak and fall short. Lord, fill in our gaps—Your grace is sufficient! Give us a spirit of bold courage to fight the good fight; the endurance and discipline to run the race set before us; and a strengthened relationship with You, where our eyes are fixed on Jesus, keeping the faith in every situation.
Final thought: You CAN fight and finish the race God set before you because greater is HE that is in YOU than he that is in the world!
Finish the Fight
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
“The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:17-19).
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8).
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24- 26).
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
“God will let you laugh again; you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy” (Job 8:20).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).