Monday, March 22, 2010

The Battle from Beginning to End

Life is a battle. Sometimes you're winning. Sometimes you're losing. Either way, you're fighting a battle to survive this journey we call life. Do your best. Try with all your might. Don't worry. You won't get out alive.

Life is a battle. Sometimes you're winning. That is to say, everything is going your way. Smooth sailing. Nothing but blue skies.

Life is a battle. Sometimes you're losing. That is to say, nothing seems to be going your way. Turbulent waves. Gray skies.

But you are never really losing; it merely feels that way because you are in the midst of a battle. Life is a battle.

"There shall be no pause nor cessation for thee from this day until the laurel is upon thy brow. If thou art defeated one day, thou must overcome the next; if a conqueror to-day, thou must fight to-morrow. Like the old knights who, slept in their armour, you must be prepared for reprisals—always watchful, always expecting temptation, and ready to resist it; never saying, "It is enough," for he who saith, "It is finished," until he breathes his last has not yet truly begun. We must have our swords drawn, even to the very last. I have sometimes thought that could we enter heaven by one sharp, quick, terrible encounter, such as the martyrs faced at the stake we might endure it heroically; but day after day of protracted martyrdom, and year after year of the wear and tear of pilgrimage and soldier-life is the more bitter trial of patience. I do but tell you in order that you may be convinced that it is not in our power to fight this warfare at our own charge; that if we have to endure in our own strength and with our own resources, it is most certain that disaster will befall us, and defeat will humble us. To fight, and fight on, is our vocation. But if thus you fight, you may hope to conquer, for others have done so before you. On the summit of the palace see you not those robed in white, who walk in light, with faces bright, and sparkling o'er with joy? Can you not hear their song? They have overcome, and they tell you:—

"To him that overcometh
A crown of life shall be;
He with his Lord and Master
Shall reign eternally."

"They have overcome; then why should not you, Jesus Christ, who is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, has passed through the sternest part of the battle, and he has overcome—a type and representative of all those who are cross-bearers, and who shall overcome as he has done.

"More than this; as you go this warfare, looking to God to bear your charges, you shall have the Lord Jesus Christ to help you. Promise not yourself that you will be able to maintain henceforth a perfect life. Sin will harass you. Old corruptions, even when they are driven out from the throne (for sin shall not reign over you), will yet struggle at the foot thereof. But Jesus Christ will be your helper. He will be always present to revive you with his precious blood, to sprinkle your hearts from an evil conscience, to wash your bodies with pure water. Have you never admired that picture of Christ, with the basin and the towel washing his disciples' feet? This is what he will ever do for you at every eventide when you have defiled yourself through inadvertence or infirmity. Look into the face of the Crucified. Perhaps you have sometimes wished that he were now visible, and in body accessible to you. That sympathizing One who has suffered so much for you! You have said, "Oh! that I might go and tell him my griefs, and get his help!" He is alive. He is here. He is not far from any one that seeketh him. Whosoever trusteth shall surely find Christ to be his very present help in time of trouble. Believe this, and thou shalt prove it true."
--C. H. Spurgeon, The Battle of Life

It is true; we can only win the Battle of Life through the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ. While His infinite Atonement provides the opportunity to be cleansed from our sins, it also can provide the comfort that we so desperately need in our lives through knowledge that He has felt the pains and sorrows we constantly experience in our mortal lives.

Life is a battle from beginning to end.

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