Taming the Monster – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

taming-the-monster“I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. At last the champion’s wreath that is awarded for righteousness is waiting for me. The Lord, who is the righteous judge, is going to give it to me on that day. He’s giving it not only to me but also to all those who have set their heart on waiting for his appearance” (1 Timothy 4:7-8, CEB).

Recently, a friend congratulated me for getting a project started that I had been working on for some time–years, actually. He told me that getting this project going was like “taming a monster.”

I appreciated his kind words and encouragement.  I was quick to note, however, that it wasn’t due to any exceptional skills I possessed but because of the participation of others with expertise that this project ever got off the ground.

But, I think I do have the spiritual gift of perseverance!

You probably didn’t know perseverance was a spiritual gift. Maybe it’s not. But perseverance is imperative for fulfilling your calling in Christ, especially for those of us lacking talent or limited in ability.

You might call it endurance, persistence, tenacity, determination, even moxie.  But, whatever you call it, it’s clear that it’s only by the hand of God, the strengthening of the Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that we can accomplish His plans and purposes: “I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength”  (Philippians 4:13, CEB).

Perseverance requires you to keep trying in the face of failure. Perseverance requires you to wait and depend on the Lord to accomplish His will through you.

I don’t really understand why God allows evil to control the world in which we live and make it difficult to accomplish His will. And, I don’t know what plans God has for His people when Christ returns to set up His new world order on Earth. But, surely He must be preparing us to be mighty for eternity!

Accomplishing your calling in Christ is like taming a monster. You have to fight for it. You may have to wait on it. And, you probably won’t subdue the monster in one battle.

The monster may get the best of you sometimes, possibly even most of the time! But, you just have to keep on fighting, keep on keeping on. And, you have to tame the monster a little at a time.

Think about it this way: A baseball player with a high batting average gets on base only 1/3 of the time.  That means a great batter gets out most of the time he goes to bat!

To fulfill God’s calling on you, failure isn’t an excuse to quit. It’s an opportunity to learn and try again!

Fight the good fight! Finish the race! Keep the faith!

We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5, CEB)

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