Two boys fight in a back alley. Fists fly. Shouts go up from the other youngsters standing by. “Give it to ‘im! Let ‘im have it!”
Finally one of the two struts away with an arrogant bearing, head and shoulders wagging. He has won!
But has he? Look at him. He has a bloody nose, a black eye and welts on his face and arms. And if looks could kill he wouldn’t even be alive, for while his friends shout his praises, the boy he has beaten gives him a look that says: “Just wait.” He has not won anything except, perhaps, a bitter and lasting enemy.
So it is with the wars that nations wage against each other. Necessary as it sometimes becomes to defend our liberties, our homes, our way of life, by force of arms, seldom does any nation actually win the war. Rather all lose, even the “victors,” as in their “victories” they sow the bitterness and hate which are the seeds of future wars.
It is different, however, with “the good fight of [the] faith,” for the Christian may come out of every battle stronger than when he went in. Only the Christian can say with regard to the heartaches and disappointments, the difficulties and obstacles, that cross his path: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).
During Paul’s busy ministry for Christ he suffered a painful “thorn in the flesh,” and “besought the Lord thrice” that it might be taken away. The Lord did not see fit to remove the thorn, but answered Paul:
“My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Cor. 12:9).
“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:9,10).
Let all go well, and we are prone to grow careless in our Christian lives. Adversity, on the other hand, makes Christians lean the harder and pray the more — and therein lies their strength and their victory. source