enduring hardship/suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2 (NASB)

There are times which test one’s mettle, as they used to say. There may be someone who clearly dislikes us no matter what we try to do to make peace and good will. We likely face tremendous difficulties in one way or another. Life is difficult, period; there are always enough challenges. When one sets themselves to pray and keep praying, it often seems that all hell breaks loose.

Whatever may be the case, we have to remember that we’re no less than in a war. Yes, Jesus Christ won the victory on the cross in his death and resurrection. And we stand in that victory. But we do so as those who remain on earth as Christ’s mystical Body, awaiting his return when all enemies will be vanquished. It is indeed a spiritual battle, not a physical one. We do not take up arms and kill other human beings. Because our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual entities which underly the evil of this world. God judges humans; somehow we his people end up judging angels, which perhaps(?) includes demons. God uses the state, the governing authorities to bring judgment on evildoers. In the end God judges everyone. It is our task to keep our own house, the church in order. We’re to judge ourselves individually and corporately.

It won’t be easy and we’re grateful for periods of rest. But a battle continues on. Satan may be bound in that we have authority over him and his minions through the gospel. But they are still active doing their evil work here on earth.

We do well to press on, knowing that the Lord will be present with us to the end. He will give us the strength and peace we need. Not left to ourselves in the struggle, though sometimes it may seem that way. We will be buoyed up and carried, lifted on our feet to continue on until the end.

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