“No, my heart will not yet despair . . . We may stand, if only on one leg, or at least be left still upon our knees.”
-Pippin, Return of the King
The war to end all wars was just beginning.
Pippin has been separated from his best friend and is now in a city completely foreign to him. Now standing with the guards Pippin comes to a great and terrible realization.
Looking out over the lands he sees gloom and destruction. He senses hatred and evil stirring.
For a moment his heart goes numb inside of him. He cannot allow himself to feel anything because if he did he might never recover.
But after a few moments of silence Pippin decides in himself not to despair but rather to hold onto hope. To call into life that fighting spirit.
Despair would be the obvious choice and by far the easier choice. As a natural reaction, it doesn’t require much prompting to surface and take control of our lives.
But discipline is a much more difficult decision. Discipline requires dying to one’s self and pushing beyond yourself. Discipline is seeing the greater goal and realizing that is worth fighting for. That is worth living for.
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of timidity.
He hasn’t given us the Holy Spirit for show. God has sent the Holy Spirit, part of the Triune, to dwell in our souls as believers so that we have constant access to His limitless resources.
We don’t have to shy away when the battle gets rough because He offers us His strength. He extends to us His unparalleled courage. He equips us.
The Lord has given us a spirit of power.
A spirit of power is one that overflows with God-given authority and authenticity. We enter spiritual battle with confidence and courage.
Let me remind you (and me) that courage is not living in absence of fear. Fear is a part of the fallen human condition, and we will brush against it every once in a while. What courage is is living in spite of fear.
So, yes. We may have fears. We may have worries and doubts. We may have concerns that keep us up at night or haunt our waking moments.
But we are not called to live in that state. We are called to liberty. We aren’t slaves to the things of this world, but we are conquerors through Christ Who has graciously given to us His power.
Because of His love, we have the capacity to love. To choose love even when it’s hard. Even when our flesh wants nothing more than to dwell in disdain and frustration. We are equipped to love.
But living in power, love, and courage is a choice. We must train ourselves to choose faith instead of fear. We must exercise our hope instead of our troubles. We must come to God in assurance instead of capriciousness.
Remember the spirit of living to which you were called.
We have a destiny, a hope, and a future. That doesn’t mean the battle won’t be a struggle. That doesn’t mean we won’t get tired and want to give in.
But that does mean we have the Unending Reservoir of Love, Courage, Power, and Discipline residing inside of our spirits. He is never far. The Holy Spirit was given to us as our Helper, our Comforter, our Companion.
The fight may not be over, but victory in Christ is guaranteed.