12 “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12 (NASB)
It was obvious that two rookies were struggling as they tried to adjust to the new realities in the world of pro sports. They had flourished in successful high school and college programs, were high-round draft picks and stood out among their teammates.
Over dinner I probed for the reason behind their discouragement.
The rookies unloaded for over 30 minutes. Most of it related to their surprise at having to battle through so many unexpected things like demeaning coaches, the impersonal environment and the business-like culture.
These two athletes went on to achieve successful careers in the NFL. It required that they embrace the battles they would have to fight as long as they were in the game.
There is a similar discovery in the Christian life. It was an exciting step to become a Christian. We began to unwrap a boatload of God’s blessings that came with that decision. We experienced a God who leads and guides and cares.
But eventually we realized a lot of battles kept popping up as we walked with God. The battles were not what we expected.
It is not unusual that our recurring battles result in periods of struggle to trust God, maintain fellowship with believers and resist temptation. We know God has not made a mistake or lost control, so what is going on?
Three things give us hope. One, the Scriptures confirm that these lifelong battles are normal. Two, God provides a way to fight the battles. Three, fighting the battles will deepen and strengthen our faith.
In the next few days, we will focus on our most common lifelong battles: temptation, the pull of the culture, relational friction and discouragement. Understanding the battles we face enables us to trust God as we walk with Him.