Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Faith Fight: Bring it On!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."
Hebrews 12: 1-3

Here you are one morning, all dressed up and ready to face the day!  

You stepped out of the door, only to find out you are on the grounds of an amphitheater with your gladiator armor, ready to face the day... of battles! And there they are-- the Apostles and the ancient Christians, settled in the circular seats as spectators, cheering for you and awaiting for your next spiritual victory.

"...we are surrounded by so a great cloud of witnesses..." 

Of course, this is a figurative representation.  The scripture tells us to act as if the Christians of the old are watching our efforts to live by the purpose we are called for.  Those brothers who had endured greater sacrifices to the extent of their death, to live their faith and make everyone know that Jesus is Lord.

Going back to our present time, knowing the situation we are into and the things we need to give for the glory of God, we realize that it isn't so bad after all… we realize that it’s not too much at all. 

 “…sin which clings so closely” 

Can you believe that?!  I can imagine sin clings so closely that every time our faith grows, the scheme of the devil cunningly upgrades to the level apt to our spiritual maturity!  We could fail at times, all right.  But we all know that what really counts is getting up and learning from it .  Paul said in 1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses".  Yes we fall at times, but our God will always give us the grace to stand up and overcome! (2 Corinthians 12:9a "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses...”)  

Now let’s go back to the “great cloud of witnesses” surrounding us… what if we keep failing on the same level, to the same temptations?  The point here is, what if Paul and the other worthies are really watching us in the battlefield?  The ones who underwent a lot of persecutions, sufferings, imprisonment and pain for the sake of the same faith we have.  God will always give us a chance, but how shameful it could be?  More so if we compare our situation to theirs.  Are we even fighting anyway?  Or are we standing up just to stumble again?  The Lord knows our hearts!

Jesus endured it all, despite that He did not deserve a bit of it.  He bear all of it so “that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”  We had hard times, that’s true. It could be somebody’s fault or our own.  But then let us “Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility…”  Jesus is Lord.  Everything was created through Him, including these “hostile sinners” from whom he experienced cruelty beyond our imagination.  And for what? Just so He can fulfill what He was sent for… our Salvation. 

I believe we can go through all the growing pains of our spiritual endeavor.  We can overcome all the trials and temptations.  And we can finish the race of faith… for God has given us everything through Jesus Christ.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  2Peter 1:3

With all these, should you still be lying, knockdown by the enemy?

Source: Barnes'  notes on the Bible

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