One of the struggles Christians face occasionally is to ‘keep fighting’ the fight of faith when things seem so cyclic and pointless. Sometimes it is not only non-Christians who ask, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet 3:4ff), occasionally Christians do as well, although probably not loud enough for anyone to hear.
The reason we continue the fight the good fight of faith is based squarely on the promises that are contained in God’s Word. Just because things seem to just keep reoccurring does not mean that God does not exist. Indeed, unbelief does not mean that God does not exist! Note Peter’s answer in 3v5, “People deliberately overlook the fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God…” (cf Romans 1:18). Please note, Peter didn’t appeal to some scientific proof that God exists and created all things, he appeals to God’s Word, of if you will, to the Genesis account.
One of the great promises contained in God’s Word which is central to the continuing fight of faith is the completed work of Jesus Christ as God’s Son, for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life of all who would believe. Ultimately, Jesus is the answer for without Him, we have every reason to be downcast. Yes, we have a few years here on earth to enjoy each other’s company. Yes, we have families that we love and love us. Yes, we may even have a great job and career. We may even be blessed to be part of a great church family. But if that is all we can hope for in this life, although reason enough for thanks, it would leave us rather empty when our days come to an end on this earth.
Thankfully, God’s Word teaches that because of God’s great electing love to us in Jesus Christ and His completed work of salvation, this life is not the end. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus also, for the joy set before Him (to be seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven), endured the cross (Heb 12:2). Likewise, we too, have a glorious future, but it can only be meaningful if we keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to hold fast to His infallible word.
But there are also other encouragements given in God’s word to keep us fighting the good fight of faith. We have God’s Holy Spirit within us, reminding us of our secure position in Christ and with our heavenly Father (Rom 8). We have the means of grace available to us, including the sacraments and prayer through which we can enter the throne room of grace (Heb 4:14ff).
And finally, we have the fellowship of the saints, such an important encouragement when one is inclined to stop fighting the good fight of faith. Is it any wonder that the writer of Hebrews encourages the early Christians not to neglect meeting together, as was the habit of some, but even more as they see the Day drawing near (Heb 10:25)? “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev 22:20-21). JZ