“Faith” is a word that is as common to our Christian dialogue as the words “Jesus Christ”, “salvation” or “pray.” Many of us use it at least once a day, everyday. It is a vague idea, a concept thrown around by believers and nonbelievers alike, and is easily minimized or misunderstood. If you are like me, you don’t often stop and really look at the role faith plays in each aspect of life. So, what does faith really look like in my life?
Faith is a process. It is not something that we have once, in our moment of salvation, and that’s it. It is not an achievement that we can check off our list. We don’t “have faith” in one of life’s difficult circumstances and then, once the difficulty is over, never think of it again. Faith requires commitment. It is the place where salvation meets action. It is the narrow road that few find (Matt 7:14), but if followed, allows us to navigate through life with Christ, and leads us to eternity with Him. Faith is a journey. And not an easy one.
In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Even Paul had to intentionally fight to stay strong in his faith. The man who met Christ on the road and was forever changed by experiencing His presence still had to persevere through tests of faith. But, he endured along his journey. He fought to hold on to what he knew to be true. And make no mistake, we are all fighting for our faith. Satan’s purpose in this world is to devour God’s people, one life at at time, and his primary target is our faith.
1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be on guard and stay awake. Your enemy the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith…” Perseverance and endurance are key to finishing the race and winning the fight. Our prize for endurance is the joy of eternity with Christ. What better reward could we ask for? Surely nothing in this world could ever compare,
1 John 2:17 says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
James 1:12 urges us, “God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him.”(CEV)
I am definitely not at the point in the faith process where I can say I have achieved my goal and can call it finished. Like many of you, I fight for my faith daily. From the smallest test of choosing the right bible study, to the bigger test of trusting God with my children or my marriage, I battle against attacks from Satan, a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). I try to remember during these times of testing that faith is not a one way street…because while I am struggling and fighting to stay on my journey of faith, Christ is staying faithful to me. Only his faithfulness is without struggle. His faithfulness never tires. And his faithfulness isn’t a battle, it’s the weapon.
Our faith can be the key to our salvation, the source of our hope, our protection against fear, and our means of surviving temptation. We are all on this journey together. We are all fighting the good fight, and we are struggling to persevere down this narrow road. So let us all continue to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today…” Hebrew’s 3:13.