“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Though the enemy of God, the devil, detests us and desires our ruin, we ought to not be afraid, for “the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Psalm 27) Today, Christians need to remind each other of this truth. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but with this spiritual enemy par excellence that analyzes us to discover our weaknesses and to cause us to abandon the Faith.
Fight the Good Fight of the Faith
In his first letter to Timothy, Saint Paul impelled him to “fight the good fight of the Faith.” (1 Tim 6:12) Living the Faith is a strife that Saint Paul was extremely familiar with given the persecutions he endured throughout his apostolic ministry. Therefore, he earnestly cautioned Timothy on this reality because of the struggle to live faithfully the Christian life. We, too, are well-acquainted with this spiritual combat, particularly when we undergo temptations, our patience and charity are put to the test, and others insult, persecute, and falsely utter every kind of evil against us. (Mt. 5:11) Indeed, living the Faith can truly be a noble battle.
For sure, if we do not willingly and effectively contend throughout these spiritual occasions, we will eventually renounce the Christian path. Truly, many have started out strong in the Faith after attending a spiritual retreat, living a Life in the Spirit Seminar, or experiencing some other life-changing spiritual event. However, the burdensome challenges that were confronted as they sought to complete life’s journey drained them out. Because of these difficulties, they ceased attending church and their relationship with the Lord deliquesced to a mere acquaintanceship.
Live and Testify With Courage
Hence, if we are going to fight the good fight of the Faith, we are obliged to do so competitively. We must defy and repel the doubts that enter our minds that suggest that God is not present or alive, that He is not powerful or wise enough to assist us, and that He does not truly love us. Occasions of sin should be avoided and sin must be spurned at all costs. Moreover, avoiding anger, hatred, and irritableness is crucial as these vices can divert us from the path of holiness. Interestingly, the first letter of Saint Paul to Timothy also provides us with the spiritual ingredients that nourish us for the combat. As Christians, we must strive to lead a life of “righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” (1 Tim 6:11) These virtues are the prerequisite qualities for persevering in the Faith amid the hardships of life.
When we are cognizant of the immense love of God and the promise of salvation in Jesus the Lord, and when we assume the life of love and salvation found in Christ, we are empowered to offer the noble confession whenever it is necessary. We nobly confess the reality of eternal life and the kingship of Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Certainly, this noble confession is a testimony of faith and glorifies the God of truth. Because of it, many have sacrificed their lives to affirm and profess that they are followers of Christ.
If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us
To live as a Christian during these turbulent times is to engage in a constant faith-filled warfare against the forces of evil. The devil, the world, and the flesh will attempt to weaken our faith, to separate us from God, and to persuade us to reject Christ. Fear not!
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?… For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-35; 38-39)