Fight the Good Fight

Posted on: 7-15-112014

Have you ever set out to do something for God only to find that, despite your best efforts, you failed…or at least you think you failed? Most of us have been here at least once and if so, you very well know the despair that awaits you when you have to face your failure. A myriad of emotions wash over you…embarrassment because others probably know you failed, guilt because you feel like you should’ve done something differently or done more to ensure that you were successful, uncertain because you wonder if you even heard God correctly in the first place or if what you attempted to do was not even what God wanted you to do, angry at yourself for letting God down…the list goes on and on. Your faith, which may have been rock solid before the failure, is shattered into a million pieces. The longer you dwell in this pit of despair, the more you wonder what in the world God was ever thinking if He did call you to do what you set out to do because, apparently, you’re not suited to do anything for Him. Does any of this sound familiar to you? I, for one, distinctly know this pit…I’ve been here more times than I even like to admit. The good news for us “pit-dwellers” is that we’re in good company. Many would describe Paul as one of the greatest and most influential Christians to ever live…and with good reason. Paul had one goal and one goal only…to spread the news about Christ. As you read about his ministry, it is apparent that Paul would share the gospel with anyone who would listen…and even sometimes, those who didn’t want to listen. Beatings, shipwrecks, snake bites, ridicule, hatred, prison chains, and even the threat of death could not shut him up! If we dared to compare ourselves to Paul, most of us would come up on the short end of the stick. It’s easy to look at him and think that he never struggled with the feelings we can endure in the “pit”. However, Paul, too, struggled with feelings of failure. When Paul visited Athens, he saw very little reward for his efforts. The people there simply didn’t care one way or the other what he had to say about Christ. After leaving Athens, Paul headed for Corinth. These words written by Paul at Corinth may give us some insight on how Paul felt after leaving Athens:

“I was with you with in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.” 1 Corinthians 2:3

These words don’t sound like someone who is fully confident in himself…instead, the seem like the words of someone who may be struggling with their confidence. He may have felt like he had failed in his efforts at Athens because not many came to Christ. He may have felt like he had let God down. He may have felt like he had not done enough to draw the people to Christ. We can’t be exactly sure what Paul was feeling, but we do know he was shaken. The lesson we need to learn from Paul through this experience is that, although he was shaken, he did not just give up. He was determined to pick himself up and continue sharing the gospel with anyone who would listen…even if he had to do it with his knees knocking, palms sweating, and heart racing. When we find ourselves feeling like we have failed, we have to follow Paul’s lead…we too have to pick ourselves up and keep fighting the good fight, knees knocking and all!


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