Near the end of his life and ministry, in the second letter to Timothy, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” – 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV. Paul was able to write these words because he knew in his heart that he had kept his fight regardless of how difficult his life became.
Can you imagine how some of our most inspirational Bible heroes’ stories would have ended if they had given up and not stayed in their fight?
In this issue’s “Word of the Quarter,” we highlight David’s battle against the Amalekites. If he had given up and succumbed to his grief and distress, he would not have sought after God. He would not have been given the instruction to pursue and recover all. What would have happened to the Israeli children and women the Amalekites had captured?
In this issue’s “Women of the Bible,” we highlight Deborah. How many more years would the children of Israel have suffered under the hands of the Canaanite general, Sisera, if Barak had not waged war under Deborah’s command. And remember Deborah’s actions were needed for Jael to accomplish her destiny.
In this issue’s “Men of the Bible,” we highlight Elijah. In him, we have a clear example of someone who retreated from their fight. Elijah felt afraid, depressed, and abandoned. He wanted to die, but God provided for him. God sent a message to Elijah using the weather and still Elijah struggled. In the end, God confronted the emotions that were holding Elijah back. He was able to reengage. Imagine if he had not. Who would have performed Elijah’s assignments, and who would have mentored Elisha?
And finally, what would have happened to all of us had Christ disengaged from the injustice of the Cross?
In these examples, we see many things. They illustrate how we are interconnected. If Deborah had not completed her assignment, Jael’s assignment would have been compromised. They also illustrate the importance of pressing through our emotions. Had David succumbed to his grief and had Elijah continued in his, their futures works would not have been done.
I understand the desire to give up and give in. But we are not just fighting for ourselves. We are also fighting for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are one body, and God gave us our skills and talents to serve others. Do you have a book you want to write? There is someone out there who needs to read your words. Do you have a song in your heart? There is someone out there who needs to hear your melody.
At the end of our days, will we be able to make the same testimony as Paul? Will we fight the good fight? Will we finish the race? Will we keep the faith? You have so much to offer and there is someone in desperate need of what you have to give. Until the end, stay engaged and fight your battle.