Monday, 21 January 2013

Fought the Good Fight, Finished the Race, Kept the Faith

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

A few weeks ago now one of my friends and great examples of the faith for me personally, passed away after a long battle with various forms of cancer. I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to visit with him and his wife and pray with them on the morning he passed away, only hours before he left this world to be with His Lord and Saviour in the next.

In times like this it is easy to sit back and ask God why. Why did you allow Him to suffer God? Why did he only have a few years to enjoy married life with his wife? Why does a faithful man of God have to go through the pain of cancer in his body?

The reality is that these are questions that did not seem to worry my friend John too much. Yes, John prayed and believed that God could heal him of the cancer. But John was not worried when his health deteriorated; he was committed to trusting that God would do His will in his life. Despite the hardships that he faced towards the end of his life, John's faith remained steadfast in God to the very end. While we were praying with John on the morning that he passed away, he continually praised God saying "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah" despite finding it difficult to muster up enough strength to even talk. John knew that God was in control; John knew that God loved him and still had His best in mind for him. Ultimately, John knew in his heart that God's best for him was not in this world any more but was in the next with God for all eternity.

My friend John is not here any more but we can take great peace from knowing where he is now. John is now in heaven with his Saviour, Lord and best friend! John 11:25 says, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." John is now free of pain! Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."

Jeremiah 17:7 says "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord." John trusted in the Lord to the very end and is now blessed far beyond anything he had ever known before. Thank you John for the faith and belief that you had in me. I won't forget the encouraging words, the many gifts and the never-ending strong handshakes that you greeted me with each week. Most of all, I won't forget the example that you set for me. You fought the good fight, you finished the race, you kept the faith (2 Tim 4:7). For that I salute you. Rest in God's peace my friend; I look forward to meeting with you again in glory one day in the future.

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