John S. B. Monsell, 1811-1875

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
I 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 through consistent times of prayer and study of His holy Word.

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
10 - Only believe
Each of these is worthy of further pondering.

John Monsell 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 Godís 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, upon thy Guide,
Lean, and His mercy will provide;
Lean, and the 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; I Corinthians 16:13

Allow God to renew your inner man through quiet meditation on His Word and a time of communion with Him...DAILY.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Return to Hymn Devotionals Index

Caleb's Country Corner *_*

The Christian Counter