Daily Devotional

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I’ve never been in a fight. I’ve “fought” with others, but never a real, true come-to-blows fight. I have been punched in the face, but the punch was delivered by my best friend. It wasn’t supposed to be a real punch; it was meant to be a pretend fight that we were engaging in for the benefit of some girls watching nearby. When his fist made contact with my nose, it felt very, very real.

When it comes to running a race, that’s not really my thing either. There isn’t even a little part of me that enjoys running. Growing up I played basketball and absolutely loved it. It’s fast-paced and exciting, and though I could run several miles in a game, I never “felt” like I was running because I was too busy focusing on my teammates and the other aspects of the game. When I run by myself, I know I’m running and all I can think about the entire time is how miserable I am while running. I’ve never understood the idea of “fun-run” because those words seem completely contrary to me. To me, there is nothing fun about any run.

All this to say, I’ve never fought a fight, let alone a “good” one, and I don’t want to start a race, let alone finish one. Luckily, that’s not really what Paul is talking about here. The key is the third part of this sentence, “…I have kept the faith.” That’s the fight that he has fought and the race he has finished; he has kept the faith.

This is a fight that’s not an act for the benefit of others. We fight the good fight each day that we continue to follow Jesus. It is indeed a race but it’s one that brings us life more abundantly. Yes, it is hard at times, and yes there is struggle, but we don’t run this race alone. God has given us teammates to run with, and He is also with as coaching us on and enabling us to run at our best.
When Paul got to the end of his life, he was able to look back and see that he had kept the faith. That should be the goal for all of us, but until then, wherever we are in our lives right now, we must continue to press on forward, fighting the good fight, running the race laid out for us, keeping our faith in Jesus Christ.
"English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers."