“Fight the good fight of faith.” – 1 Timothy 6:12
Paul’s words to Timothy have been running through my mind as I question and wonder and wait, trusting God’s timing and sinking my roots deeper in Him.
We are called to fight the good fight of faith. This action word for fight in the Greek is agōnizonai, and it means “to contend, to struggle, with difficulties and dangers; to struggle, to compete for a prize, to contend with an adversary, to endeavor to accomplish something, fight, labor fervently, strive.”
Faith is messy. It’s hard. It’s a struggle. We have to engage it with our whole heart. We run our race, and we persevere. We feel the emotions and put forth the effort to press in. We wrestle. But we don’t give up. We don’t give in. We hold on to our faith, when the circumstances are tough and the outlook is bleak. We hope against all hope. We hold up our shields of faith and we fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfecter of our faith.
We fight the good fight of faith. It may be difficult, but it’s a good fight. This word in the Greek is kalos, meaning “good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends; praiseworthy, noble.” This is a noble fight; it’s praiseworthy. It’s a fight worth fighting. It brings glory to our God, joy to our Father’s heart. It pleases Him, this faith we fight for.
The noun for fight is the Greek word agōn, and it means “a contest, in a figurative sense – any struggle with dangers, annoyances, obstacles, standing in the way of faith, holiness, and a desire to spread the gospel.” We will come up against annoyances and obstacles, things that stand in the way of our faith and trust. And we will struggle with them… but in His name we can overcome them, by our faith in Him! He is victorious, and we fight from a place of victory in Him.
And what is faith? The Greek word used here is pistis, and it’s defined as “relating to Christ – a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God; fidelity, faithfulness, i.e. the character of one who can be relied on.” Faith is the strong belief that He is who He says He is. We can have faith because He is forever faithful; He is the One we can fully rely on. We don’t have to be shaken because He is our firm foundation.
“Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?'” – Luke 8:22-25 (NASB)
The storms will come. The waves and wind will beat upon our boats. We will have the opportunity to be overwhelmed by our situations.
We have to remember that Jesus is with us in the boat. He’s not going to let us drown. His perfect love casts out all fear. We are sons and daughters and He has lavished His love on us.
And so He asks us, “Where is your faith?”
Is my faith in the storm? In the waves and the wind? In the temporal, the seen? Am I trusting them to overtake me, to have the final say? Am I believing them over His word?
Or is my faith in Jesus, the author (the beginner) and the perfecter (the finisher) of my faith? In the eternal, in the unseen? Am I trusting His plan, His thoughts, His promises? Am I believing in Him more than the troubles that come my way?
He’s with us while we wait for the storm to calm. He speaks, and the wait is over; the winds and the waves are stilled.
He is with us in the fight of faith; He is with us as we struggle to keep the faith. He is the person of grace, the very gift given to make a way for us to the Father.
He is for us. He’s in control. He knows the plans He has for each one of us. And they’re overflowing with hope and for our benefit.
Keep fighting. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Especially when it doesn’t make sense. It’s a good fight, this fight for faith. He’s with you, and He loves you.
This Week’s Song Suggestions:
- “Eyes on You” by Kristene DiMarco
- “Your Hands” by JJ Heller
- “Peace Be Still” by The Belonging Co feat. Lauren Daigle
- “You Came (Lazarus)” by Bethel Music feat. Amanda Cook