Thursday Quote Day: Curtis Strange

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from golfer Curtis Strange:

“That’s the best thing, to get back in the fight, to suck it up and fight it. I didn’t win. But I can win and I will win again. That takes toughness.” (Curtis Strange)

Sunday Devotional: 1 Timothy 6

This year, I’ve been going through the New Testament during my quiet time in the mornings.  It usually consists of a chapter (or part of a chapter depending on the length of the chapter) a day.  Today I just finished up the letter of 1 Timothy.  So for this week’s “Sunday Devotional”, I thought I’d look at 1 Timothy 6, particularly verse 12.

The letter of 1 Timothy was written by the apostle Paul to Timothy.  Timothy was a young leader in the church and learned under Paul’s leadership.  Timothy would later become a pastor at the church at Ephesus.  Paul would write to his friend and son in the faith to encourage and exhort him.  1 Timothy was one of those letters.  Paul talked to Timothy about how to lead and minster to the people where he was serving and to encourage him in doing so.

When we get to the end of the letter in chapter 6, Paul is wrapping up his thoughts and instructions to Timothy.  In verse 12 Paul writes “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  Ministry is hard.  It is a fight both from the outside and the inside.  It is a struggle but it is a good fight.  It is a good fight because it is of eternal importance.  It is a good fight because of the impact it can have in the lives of others as well as one’s self.  As believers, we will get attacked by Satan inwardly through temptation and outwardly from the world.  But we have Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to fight and to keep fighting.

If you have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord & if you are following after Him, keep fighting the good fight.  It is worth it.  Even when you get beat up, keep fighting.  Remember the calling God has in your life as a follower of Jesus.  Remember Him and how much He loves you.  Take hold of that this week.

Hope and the Fight For It

I tend to be an optimistic guy.  I tend to look at the bright side of things.  Glass half full kind of thing.  Granted, this is difficult when things are going roughly but it’s what I try to do.  Through those hard times, I try to have hope.

Hope, it’s actually a good four letter word.  It’s also something that at times can feel like it is in short supply.  That is something I can attest to very well.  When life feels like it is crashing down on you and you feel all alone, it is hard to have hope.  It makes you question a lot of things.  But yet as followers of Jesus, we are to have hope.

It’s easy to have hope when life is going well.  It feels like hope is in ample supply.  But when the storms of life rage and beat at you from all sides, it seems like hope takes a vacation.  When you are beat up from life and you don’t know down from up, you struggle to see hope.  But hope is there.

It feels like a fight sometimes to keep hoping, to keep trusting.  I know this is true.  I also know that I am not alone.  Even if there is no one else around, God is still there.  He hasn’t left me.  There are some days when that’s all I have to live for and that is it.  What gets me through the day is that God loves me and He has a plan for me and He is not through with me yet.  That gives me reason for hope.  That gives me a reason to keep fighting.

Keep Moving Forward: Perseverance and Rocky Balboa

Perseverance is a word that is at the forefront of those who are followers of Jesus.  Throughout the Bible, there are stories of those who had to deal with hard times and had to persevere.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to persevere in our journey of faith.  It is understood that this life will be hard.  The apostle Paul used the analogy of boxing or fighting in several of his letters (1 Corinthians 9, 2 Timothy 4).  It was a good metaphor then and still is today.

One of my favorite film series are the Rocky movies.  I grew up watching them over and over again (except for Rocky V….which in my opinion belongs with those movies that do not exist).  When Rocky Balboa came out in 2006, I saw it in the theaters while I was living in Seattle.  The movie really struck a cord with me.  I’ve rewatched it several times, especially when I’m going through a tough time.

One scene in that film that is very poignant is the scene with Rocky and his son talking outside.  Here’s the scene:

The key line from that scene is this:  “But it ain’t about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.  How much you can take and keep moving forward.”  That is perseverance.  We will get knocked down in this life.  We will get beat down.  That is a given.  Sometimes we get knocked down so hard it rocks our world.  It is no fun at all to go through those times.  I can speak from experience (and recent experience at that) that it is no fun.  But as a follower of Jesus, I am called to persevere.  I’m to keep moving forward.  I know that I cannot do this alone.  Each time I’m knocked down by life, Jesus is right there to get me back on my feet and moving forward again.  That’s perseverance.