FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT WITH ALL THY MIGHT
John S. B. Monsell, 1811–1875
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)
As Christians, one of our chief characteristics should be courage, especially when it involves our spiritual defense of the gospel. How easily, however, our noble intentions for this kind of fortitude are changed into attitudes of despair and defeat because of annoying circumstances, the secular media, or disappointment in others. To avoid these courage-defeating forces, we must have our “inner man” renewed daily with spiritual nourishment. We cannot be truly strong if we do not gain the inner strength that comes from God.
When John Monsell wrote this hymn text, he provided ten strong imperatives for a triumphant Christian life: 1) Fight the good fight; 2) Lay hold of life; 3) Run the straight race; 4) Lift up thine eyes; 5) Seek His face; 6) Cast care aside; 7) Lean on thy Guide; 8) Trust and prove; 9) Faint not nor fear; and 10) Only believe. Each of these is worthy of further pondering.
John Monsell was an Anglican clergyman who published a hymnal in 1863 titled Love and Praise for the Church Year. In that song book this hymn first appeared under the title “The Fight for Faith.” This respected man of the pulpit was also known as a strong advocate of vigorous congregational singing, constantly persuading his people that congregational singing should be fervent and joyous. “We are too distant and reserved in our praises,” he would say. “We sing, but not as we should sing to Him who is the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely.” Perhaps there is a stronger relationship between our times of joyous praise and our ability to “fight the good fight” than we generally realize.
Fight the good fight with all thy might! Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right; lay hold on life, and it shall be thy joy and crown eternally.
Run the straight race through God’s good grace. Lift up thine eyes and seek His face; life with its way before us lies; Christ is the path and Christ the prize.
Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide; His boundless mercy will provide; trust and thy trusting soul shall prove Christ is its life and Christ its love.
Faint not nor fear; His arms are near; He changeth not, and thou art dear; only believe, and thou shalt see that Christ is all in all to thee.
For Today: Deuteronomy 31:6; Romans 8:36–39; 1 Corinthians 16:13
Allow God to renew your inner man through quiet meditation with His Word and a time of communion with Him. Reflect on these musical truths—