When The Going Gets Tough By George Stroh, Senior Pastor January 11, 2010
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)
My junior high school physical education teacher, Mr. Hillman, had a plaque on the wall in his office that read "When the going gets tough... The tough get going!" I have found this to be true, not only in athletics, but in all facets of life, including the life of faith in Christ.
Toughness doesn't require great physical size or strength. The Apostle Paul apparently had a very unimpressive physical stature. I picture him as a rather small Jewish man who probably looked much older that he was. The physical abuse and stress he suffered must have cause him to age prematurely. Nevertheless, Paul had the reputation of being strong and tough-- tough mentally and spiritually; "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Paul understood that when the going gets tough, the tough get going in the strength of the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul tells us how to be tough-minded:
1. Be on the alert
2. Stand firm in the faith
3. Act like men
4. Be strong
Tough-minded Christians are always "on the alert", knowing that our "..adversary, the devil, prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8). When the spiritual attacks and tough times come (and they always do), tough-minded Christians stand firm in the faith, understanding that the Lord is still in control and that they have the ultimate victory in Him.
Tough-minded Christians act like men with sustained courage and renewed determination, resisting the temptation to cut and run, even in the toughest times. Tough times just make them stronger in the Lord and they endure to the end, finishing strong.
If you are a Christian, you are a Christian soldier and, like Paul, you must be tough in the strength of our Lord.-- "Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, With the Cross of Jesus Going on before."Maranatha