The Fighter

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Yesterday I was reading about two pastors and their wives who were arrested in Iran about 9 months ago for preaching the gospel. They have been charged with sedition and have endured many beatings whilst they have been in prison. One of the women also miscarried her baby due to the lack of pre-natal care in her jail. These four young Christians are fighting the good fight and truly suffering for their faith.

In the Western church, we are just fighting. Issues have become incendiaries; theological tussles are creating turmoil; and church problems are preventing Christís peace from being embraced. The question we need to honestly ask ourselves is this: are we fighting the good fight or just battling ourselves?

When I see the horrific destruction in Japan and read about the blatant persecution of Christians all over the globe, it makes my own problems and conflicts seem trivial. I ask myself two important questions: Where is Christ in the midst of this mess? What is the Spirit really doing across the world?

Fighting the good fight may not necessarily mean being doggedly dogmatic and solidly scriptural. Perhaps in todayís world it means fighting against despair, struggling with survivors, and mightily loving those whose losses are overwhelming their lives.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You live and walk among the ruins of Japan, as well as the isolated cells in Iran. You fight for the faith by embracing the shattered souls and helpless hearts of people everywhere. Your Spirit seeks the lost and weeps with those whose lives are wrecked. Enable us to be empowered by Your empathy and to conquer despair with compassion. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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