“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
The former British Prime Minister would’ve known more than almost any other human the very definition of this saying. Beleaguered with the stench of Hitler’s strangling tyranny on world peace, there had to be resilient and comprehensive response; one that albeit almost came too late. But, as they say, better late than never!
And we have our very own personal tyrannies. These are world shattering on the personal level. They’re those attacks and circumstances that crowd and overwhelm, mustering up within us the flight or fight response we’re naturally positioned to respond with. Yet, most of us truly want to run. We don’t want of bar of it.
However, truly, we really only have one option—if we care. We must fight and keep going; fighting the good fight:
“Fight the good fight of the faith.”
—1 Timothy 6:12a (TNIV).
If we’re truly going through a personal hell we must keep going, in faith, for the faith... faithfully. And this takes courage and wisdom and poise and patience and trust—faith.
And this is not a shallow, inefficacious message. It is our strength in the direst time. As each victorious moment passes, as we trudge ever onward—on the Kokoda Track of our souls—we find at some point, the end approaches. And our faint hopes are suddenly vindicated—strangely, often at a time we were most prepared to give up hope.
But it’s faith that holds up hope as if it were the centre pole of a marquee tent.
It’s a faith that simply and unquestionably goes on, smiling as it does—even for want of reason to smile; indeed, there is the reason. It smiles because there is no seen reason. This soul smile is the stuff of the externalities and internalities of godly faith.
“We live by faith, not by sight.”
—2 Corinthians 5:7 (TNIV).
Faith in these times is never reduced to cliché. It would never cut it. Faith simply is. It’s the ability to bear as long as it takes.
But, in the meantime, we take heart; Jesus has—for us—overcome the world! (John 16:33) And, truly, nothing else matters. Hold on and you’ll see.
“The LORD makes firm the steps
of those who delight in him;
“though they stumble, they will not fall,
for the LORD upholds them with his hand.”
—Psalm 37:23-24 (TNIV).
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.