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June 20, 2005

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Soldiers, Boxers, Believers and Other Great Fighters

By: Dr. Skip Myers
Edgefielddaily.com columnist
web posted June 20, 2005

Struggles, tests, trials, and heartaches are terms we consistently hear to describe the nature of life as we know it. Somewhere in our belief system we have come to equate the love of God with a problem-free existence. If things are easy, then God loves us but if the going gets tough, we question His love and presence. Endurance and persistence are two foundational building blocks to the Christian life.

I read an article the other day about a Japanese soldier who had been discovered on a remote island in the Pacific. This soldier had no idea that World War II had come to an end and refused to accept that fact. He would not leave his post until his ex-commander was located in Japan and flown to this island to relieve this soldier of his duties. I can only image the hardships this lonely soldier endured over the decades he spent on the island and yet, he obeyed the orders he had been given. He refused to dessert his post.

We can tell how strongly we believe in something by what it takes for us to abandon that belief. Life will come at us at an amazing speed and with remarkable power. Faith is given to grant a victory in the midst of life and not necessarily to make life any easier. In II Timothy, we are given a prescription for the application of faith to life. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Three things we are told about life and faith. Life is a fight. That is not optional; it is that way for everyone. We are either fighting to gain what is best or we are fighting against what is best for our lives. The Lord tells us to fight the “good fight.” In other words, struggle against life with what is best instead of meeting the challenges of life with inferior, less than “good” resources. And I only know of one source for what is truly good in life and that is the Lord.

When we fight with the right tools, then we are able to “finish the course.” God has established a course of victory for His children. Along the way life will offer us exit ramps so that we can abandon God’s course and take off on our own. The only problem is that if we choose this option, the path is not cleared so we have to not only chart the course alone but build the road as well. One of the tools God gives us to fight and finish is the wisdom to see His way and know that it is best.

Now that we are shown the way and given the tools needed for victory, all that is left is to “keep the faith.” This is our part in the process of victory. God will not make us stay on the course of victory. We have to determine not to “dessert the post” even though we may get tired or confused. Spiritual endurance is not a matter of gritting our teeth and hoping for the best. It is a matter of taking all that the Lord has given us through our personal relationship with Him and applying it in the midst of life in order to gain a victory. We meet life from a standpoint of victoriously strong endurance.

Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
Contact Dr. Myers: E-mail

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