Warriors bear the scars of battle, whether of engagement in conflict, or escape from it.
"I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17).
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (II Corinthians 4:8-9).
"My heart is wounded within me" (Psalm 109:22).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ bear the imprints of struggle, difficulty, and pain. Our spiritual enemies do not allow us to peacefully and quietly pass the time of our earthly sojourning. "There are many adversaries" (I Corinthians 16:9). More importantly, our Heavenly Father also directly sends us into many battles, or allows others to find their way to us. "Fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12). We may or may not recognize the challenges of life as spiritual in nature, but they are. How we respond to the difficulties determines our effectiveness in glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the nature of our scars. Do we bear them because we arose to engage in "the good fight" by trusting and submitting to our Lord in trials and tribulations? Or do our wounds indicate that we ran from battle, allowing our enemies to overrun us as we succumbed to unbelief? As believers, we will bear scars, be they from conflict or compromise.
This subject always brings to mind a poem written in 1902 by John Masefield. Entitled "A Consecration", the poet honors those who engage in real battles of earthly nature, as opposed to those who receive accolades for conflicts never faced. This applies to our spiritual lives no less. We close with Masefield's invocation and indictment, and with the prayer for myself and all that we will engage, that we will bear the marks of having fought "the good fight of faith".
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
(II Corinthians 1:8-9)
Weekly Memory Verse
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
(II Corinthians 4:7