FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
I Tim. 6:11-12 - “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
THE TRUE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN
Paul’s exhortation to his “son in the Lord,” Timothy, stands out as an appropriate exhortation to all Christians. As Paul closes out this epistle, he describes to Timothy the activities that a man of God should indulge in. He deals with the need for the believer to flee from the love of money. He declares that the true man of God will follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. He goes on to exhort Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith.” This is the true battle for the believer. We are to believe that God has already established a solid redemption plan. We are to believe that despite what we may feel, hear, or see, God will always be faithful to those who depend upon that plan. This is the good fight of faith.
THE GOOD FIGHT DEFINED
In Verse 12, the word fight is used twice. The first time it is the Greek word agonizomai, which means, “to struggle” — literally, to compete for a prize; figuratively, to contend with an adversary. The second time it is the Greek word agon, which means, “a place of assembly” (as if led), i.e., a contest (held there); figuratively, an effort or anxiety. From this base word, we arrive at the English usage of the word agony. Therefore, we are to struggle to believe. We are to compete and/or contend with an adversary. The Bible tells us that our adversary, the Devil, goes about seeking whom he may devour. We must continually watch over ourselves to see whether or not we are really in the faith. Thus, agonize the great agony of faith! In other words, don’t release your faith in God’s redemption plan, ever; it stands as the basis of your redemption. Every other promise in the Word of God will be null and void if we fail to depend upon the finished work of Christ as a completed work. Therefore, we fight and struggle to believe in the Cross of Christ to maintain proper relationship with Him.
THE OPPOSITION DEFINED
In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us of the sower’s work: how he sows a seed that should take root downward and bring forth fruit upward. While the condition of the soil may mirror the condition of the heart, that is another matter. My focus is the opposition that is sure to come to the heart that receives the seed. Persecution, trials, and attacks of the enemy are sure to come against the believer. Despite what arises against us, we are to continue to believe that God is working in both us, and our circumstances. We are to believe that the opposition has not come because God is unfaithful, but rather that the opposition has come and that God will prove Himself faithful. God is in charge of all things and will not tempt me above that which I am able to handle, as long as I keep my eyes squarely upon the truth of the Cross and the promises of God’s Word.
SO WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you troubled with anxiety and fear? Are you struggling to believe what seems impossible to believe? Well, my friend, welcome to the good fight of faith. Whatever you do, don’t fail to continually trust in the faithfulness of your God! While we may not understand the present circumstances we find ourselves in, we can rest assured that God will ultimately reveal to us His intention and His plan regarding our case. Meanwhile, we fight the good fight. We believe that faith in God’s redemption plan qualifies us to receive any promises that God has made to us. We refuse to give in to despair, hopelessness, or dismay. Be strong and of a good courage. For the Lord your God is with you, no matter what you face, and no matter where you go! Fight the good fight of faith!