Spring 2021 Magazine

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Friday, August 21

“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.” — 1 Timothy 6:12

Lifelong Battles Come with Being a Christian

Two NFL rookies were struggling to adjust to their new reality in the world of pro sports. They had flourished in successful high school and college programs, were high-round draft picks and stood out among their teammates. Over dinner, I probed for the reason behind their discouragement.

The rookies unloaded for more than 30 minutes. Most of it related to their surprise at having to battle through so many unexpected things like demeaning coaches, the impersonal environment and the business-like culture.

These two athletes went on to achieve successful careers in the NFL. But it required that they embrace the battles they would have to fight as long as they were in the game.

We made a similar discovery in the Christian life. It was an exciting step to become a Christian. We began to unpack a boatload of God’s blessings that came with that decision. We experienced a God who leads and guides and cares. But eventually we were surprised there were battles that did not go away.

It is not unusual that our recurring battles result in periods of struggle to trust God, maintain fellowship with believers and resist temptation. God has not lost track of us, so what is going on?

Three things give us hope. 1) The Scriptures confirm that these lifelong battles are normal. 2) God provides a way to fight the battles. 3) Fighting the battles will deepen and strengthen our faith.

The common battles for the Christian include temptation, the pull of the culture, relational friction and discouragement. We must be committed to fight them with God’s wisdom and strength.

Tom Petersburg, Catapult Ministries

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