“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
The life of a Christian is full of struggles, it is even characterized as “the fight of faith”. But at the end of our earthly life, God will make us triumph. Paul is confident at the end of his life that he will receive the crown of righteousness — and not only he, but all who have loved Jesus Christ.
Paul’s confidence is not based on his blameless performance as a Christian. We need only read Romans 7 to see that Paul sometimes despaired of his struggle with sin: “I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am!” But Paul’s situation was not hopeless. He knew that Jesus Christ his Lord would deliver him from “this body of death”. In Romans 8:37, he says: “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Gaining victory in the fight of faith is not dependent on your own power, but on your relationship to Jesus Christ. If you belong to him, you can be sure to share in his triumph.
Are you able to praise God even in times of hardship?