"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
- James 1:12
For a while now, God has been coaching me on how to fight, stay focused, and finish strong in this life. When life is rough there is a temptation to stray from God, be upset, be bitter, and complain. But there are a couple of things that we must remember when we’re going through rough seasons. First things first, life is tough for everyone, there is not a single soul that doesn't get crushed or hurt in this life. Second of all, it's all for a purpose, nothing that we experience is random or out of God’s control. Lastly, it's not a waste of time; there are countless reasons why God allows (not causes) certain things to happen. It’s not our job to know all of the details, but to obey and trust Him. Difficult seasons teach us how to depend on Him like never before. Most importantly, the battles that we face are purposed to make us holier, stronger, wiser, and true champions.
God's number one priority is for us to look more and more like Him each day. That is why sanctification exists, so that we may resemble the image that we were modeled after. Just like diamonds, we must go through fires to be refined. We must be tested, tried, and face trials if we want to grow and develop as believers. The process of becoming holier is as beautiful as it is breathtaking, and I don't mean breathtaking in a whimsical sort of way; but rather in a laborious sense. Something similar to running a killer marathon and needing sleep, and a ton of water afterward. I believe that God wants to make champions out of us. He wants us to be stronger and tougher as a result of life's tests. He also wants us to be teachable and wise as well. The Bible has various examples of this process; such as pruning vines. And although the poetic illustrations are brilliant, the actual process is difficult. But we must endure, and fight on because we were created to be champions.
Champions are overcomers
We’ve all had to overcome things before, and it's not easy but it's necessary. There are certain things in life that you and I simply can't be complacent about; because if we are, then we’ll never get anywhere. In life, we will encounter several roadblocks but we must press on.
Champions are endurant
Life is a lot like a workout, and in order to make “gains" in this life, you've got to go through some pain. If you work out hard enough then you will feel the burn and want to give up. But you can't, because if you give up then you won't get any results. So you have to hang in there as long as you can. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be a weakling. I want to have muscles and abs in the spirit! I don't want to cave in when things get rough, I want to be found faithful. Are you with me?
Champions are focused
Keep your eye on the prize, don't lose focus. As believers, our focus must remain on Christ! We mustn't stray from Him at any cost because we simply can’t afford to. As our focus remains on Him, life's challenges become more bearable.
Champions are brave
Noah was quite the champion, although we don't see him physically fighting any battles in the Bible. He had to have the heart of a champion in order to fulfill his God-given calling. Noah must've looked crazy to all of his neighbors for building an ark before there were any signs of rain. But he had to be obedient to God's instructions. Although things were tough, he made his way through the obstacles and he knew that following God was worth it.
Champions are fearless
As tempting as it is to be scared of the unknown, what's ahead, and what's to come. Don't fall into the trap, it's not worth it! Sometimes due to past difficulties, our hearts become hardened, and we may even become less optimistic about the future. But I can assure you that what's to come is better than what's behind you. As long as you are guided by God and you allow Him to direct your path, you'll always be led in the right direction.
You were designed and created to win! Everything that you face is for your benefit. So that you can have the heart of a fighter, and be a champion in your everyday life! As you walk through life you'll have to attack vicious things, and you will have trying moments! But you're a champion my friend, fight on!