But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. —1 Timothy 6:11-12
Because the Enemy Is Evil
First, it is a good fight because the enemy is evil. The enemy is unbelief and the Satanic forces behind it and the sins which come from it. When you set yourself to combat the forces that try to get you to trust in yourself instead of God, you oppose a very evil enemy. Therefore it is a good fight.
Because We Are Not Left to Our Own Strength
Second, it is a good fight because we are not left to our own strength to fight. If we were, as Martin Luther says, “All our striving would be losing.” Philippians 2:12 says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” That’s the same as saying, “Fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life.” But the next verse says, “For God is at work in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.” In other words, when a child of God fights the fight of faith, God is really the one who is behind that struggle giving the will and the power to defeat the enemy of unbelief. We are not left to ourselves to sustain faith. God fights for us and in us. Therefore the fight of faith is a good fight.
Because It’s a Struggle to Let a Burden Be Carried for Us
Third, it is a good fight because it is not a struggle to carry a burden, but a struggle to let a burden be carried for us. The life of faith is not a burdened life! It is an unburdened life! The fight of faith is the struggle to trust God with the burdens of life. It’s a fight for freedom from worry. It’s a fight for hope, and peace, and joy which are all threatened by unbelief and doubt about God’s promises. And since freedom and hope and peace and joy are good, the fight to preserve them is a good fight.
Because It Involves Self-Humbling Not Self-Exaltation
Fourth, the fight of faith is good because, unlike most fights, it does not involve self-exaltation but self-humbling. Most fighting is not good because it is a proud attempt to prove our own strength at someone else’s expense. But the fight of faith is just the opposite. It’s a way of saying that we are weak and desperately need the mercy of God. By nature we do not like to admit our helplessness. We do not like to say, “Apart from Christ I can do nothing” (John 15:5). But the very essence of faith is the admission of our sinful helplessness and the looking away from ourselves to God for mercy. This kind of humility is good. Therefore the fight of faith is a good fight.
Because by It God Is Greatly Glorified
Fifth, the fight of faith is good because by it God is greatly glorified. When we devote ourselves to self-abasement with the purpose of casting all our hope on God, he is exalted in the world. Trusting in ourselves gets us glory. Trusting in the power of God gets him glory. And nothing in all the world is as good as the glory of God. Therefore the fight of faith is a good fight.
In sum, then, the fight to maintain faith and lay hold on eternal life is a good fight because the enemy is evil; the strength to fight is given by God; the faith we pursue is not a burden but an unburdening; the fight involves self-humbling not self-exaltation; and God is glorified as we learn to trust him with all our cares and hopes.