Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were
~ Psalm 39:12 ~
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
~ 1 Peter 1:17-21 ~
It will take unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to choose the way to eternal life. It is by using that faith we can know the will of God. It is by acting on that faith we build the strength to do the will of God. And it is by exercising that faith in Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation and gain forgiveness through the Atonement.
~ Henry B. Eyring – Spiritual Preparedness – General Conference October 2006 ~
We tend to forget the reality of mortality. And that is the certainty of death. It is, after all, a destination we all are progressing toward. For some, it is believed to be our final destination. Those of us who place our faith, our hope, and trust in God know of a certainty that Eternity is from everlasting to everlasting. It is quite rational to hold to the idea that we may have all the time in the world. However, as we progress in age – the certainty of our time on earth appears to be a mere shadow that passes (Psalm 144:4).
Because death is certain, we are given a way to live for truth, to live a life that is honorable, and to live a life that is rich with those blessings our Heavenly Father has and will bestow upon us. Hence, the Apostle Paul declared with conviction and confidence that he has fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:8-9).
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his disciple Timothy. It became his last epistle before his martyrdom in AD 67. His concluding testimony affirmed his deeply moving and unwavering faith and unyielding love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, we all are fighting a good fight in the course of our own life. Each one of us face challenges and struggles in this life. Hardship and opposition are something we endure as a good soldier in Christ (2 Timothy 2:5).
Paul gives us an important reminder that we are engaged in conflict. In Ephesians, he calls our attention to this conflict as a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Moses, when Satan came and stood before him, questioned the opposing one: Where is thy glory? (Moses 1:13). And if we endure well, overcome as Christ overcame, through faith – we shall also receive our own crown of righteousness.
See, the Apostle Paul knew his time was nearing the end. And without any regrets, lived his life according to the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His sense of fulfillment ought to become our sense of fulfillment. A sense of fulfillment in knowing we too are empowered to accomplish all that our Heavenly Father has called us to do.
As we go forward with faith and purpose, we do so with the mindset that this life is a test. That there is a purpose for our mortal existence, and that we are called and assigned to endure those conflicts and challenges. To live for God through service and obedience, placing our hope and trust on Jesus Christ, and striving to be perfected so that we are able to say with conviction: I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course and now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.
To do so takes dedication and an unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ in this coming year. To go forward into the sea means we are willing to give our lives completely over to our Heavenly Father’s will and plan for our own lives. To awake and shake off those chains that have held us captive and bound (2 Nephi 1:23) so that we are able to put on ourselves the armor of righteousness – that is Jesus Christ.
After all – we are fellow travelers and sojourners in this life.
We are called to seek God, to live faithfully, and to endure to the end. Our struggles, our challenges in this life are but a mere passing shadow. It is much more than making this life fulfilling. It is much more than living in the present moment and experiencing all that we are experiencing. Our determination to go forward with faith and purpose sets the foundation for when we enter into the coming eternities. Will we stand before our Heavenly Father with a clear conscious and ready to receive our inheritance? Or are we going to stand with shame, guilt, and regret of squandering our life for our own pursuits and accolades in this life?
Meditate and Ponder
Exodus 14:13-15 calls us to do the following things. First, we are to fear not. We are not to fear what has happened in the past. We are also not to fear what lays ahead of us. Second, we are to stand still. This is where our patience comes. It is a posture of activeness, a sense of readiness. We are actively awaiting further instructions and orders. Our trust and hope in God’s purpose calls us to stand still before God. Third, we are to see the Salvation of the Lord. Moses is calling the Israelites attention to watch and witness the deliverance that will come only through God. This, because of their faithful obedience. This includes remaining silent and hold to the peace that our Heavenly Father gives unto each one of us – specifically when we are facing with trying and adverse circumstance. Holding our peace means we do not complain or murmur. This is because the LORD fights for us.
How does this help you go forward with faith and purpose into the new year? Knowing that this life is but a brief moment compared to eternity and everlasting immortality? How does this help you find peace and fulfillment? Have you murmured, complained? Have you not remained steadfast and still in your faith toward God?