Boxer Muhammad Ali was once asked “What’s the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?”
Ali thought a minute… and answered with a story about his famed match with Sonny Liston: “Liston was the strongest man I’d ever fought. Every time I hit him, it hurt me worse than it did him. I gave him everything I had. When the sixth round ended, I was completely spent. I couldn’t even raise my arms. I couldn’t even stand up to go back onto the ring. ‘I’m goin’ home!’ I told [trainer] Angelo Dundee. ‘I’m not going back in there!’ Hearing this, Dundee demanded that Ali get ready to go in. Ali refused. The bell rang, and still Ali didn’t leave his seat. Dundee pushed him and shouted, ‘Get in there and don’t come out until you’re the heavyweight champion of the world.’ Ali struggled to his feet. Liston didn’t. At the end of that fight, Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, was the new heavyweight champion of the world. ‘The greatest lesson I’ve learned,’ Ali said, ‘is to have someone pushin’ you and makin’ you do things you don’t think you can do.’”
Some of you reading this have given it everything you’ve got. You’re spent. Exhausted. Not sure how you’re going to get through that tough opponent staring you down in the other corner. Life has hit you hard and you aren’t excited about the possibilities of getting hit again. You need someone in your corner. You need an Angelo Dundee… someone pushing you to get back up and fight… Who is that in your life? If nobody comes to mind, I have good news for you today. Christ is in your corner…
Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?”
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
He’s with you everywhere. He’s all the strength you’ll need. You can do anything with Him by your side. I know it’s hard. I know you want to stop from time to time. As your Pastor, my heart hurts for all that I see (or hear/read about) happening in your life. I pray for you and your family… that you would be reminded that what you are enduring is for a season. You’ll make it through… you’ll persevere… you will see the sun again no matter how dark it feels today. Those verses that you just read… they are for you. God wrote them with you on His mind.
I want to remind you that you are never alone… the fight isn’t just you vs. the world….
Jesus is there… and He’s nudging you back out into the ring of life. It won’t always be an easy fight… and you may take hits from time to time… but just remember, no matter how tough it gets, the One in your corner is stronger than the one in the world’s.