I’m reading a historical fiction book right now called, “To Try Men’s Souls.” I’ve read a lot of history books; mostly military history. I have enjoyed reading about the Revolutionary War and WW II. I’ve focused my historical reading in those two time periods. I’m not much of a fiction reader nor historical fiction. But, I wanted to lighten my load and get lost in a fiction book, so downloaded this book into my (soon to be defunct) Kindle.
What the author paints so vividly is the utter desperation of the Continental Army by December 1776. You recall the Declaration of Independence was signed in July of that year. Then the Continental Army suffered a series of defeats and setbacks where they ended up being pushed south into Pennsylvania. They were so poorly supplied by the Continental Congress that many men had no shoes and some had, no kidding, not a stitch of clothing and it was the dead of winter. I’ve been cold before, but not THAT cold.
In the midst of desperation, Washington boldly acted. He crossed the Delaware River in a horrible winter storm at night and defeated the Hessians in Trenton, N.J. on Dec 26, 1776 with a ragtag Army that endured to victory. They had every right to give up (many of them did and fled). But those that held on and fought the good fight were victorious.
That brings me to Paul’s words, “endure,” “fight the good fight of the faith.” Our sheltered Christianity in the U.S. can’t really grasp what this meant to it’s hearers. Timothy was pastoring a church suffering persecution. We probably don’t get it. But, in the intensity of it all Paul encourages Tim to endure and fight.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now. But, as a good soldier of Christ, you have to endure and fight the good fight of faith. Don’t give up. You may have had set backs. You may be suffering greatly, but don’t give up.
1 Timothy 6:12-13a (NIV) 12 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. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you.
Take hold of this incredible life that God has for you. Fulfill the purpose He has for you. Don’t give up. 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV) 3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Just like the Continental Army had to focus on the prize, freedom, you too focus on the prize; a full eternal life in Christ. You can trust him to get you through whatever difficulty you experience.
Paul said, 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV) 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
Hold on. Endure! He will get you through this. He is faithful. You will experience victory in your life!