Some friends of ours had to relocate for a few years to another town, so they rented out their house, and rented one to live in, in the new town. All went well for a while, then their tenants stopped paying the rent. This put our friends in great financial difficulty, and they had no choice but to go through months of court proceedings, and finally have the tenants evicted. It was a really rough time for them, and once the house was vacated, they still had to fight for the money that was owing over that time – several thousands of pounds.
It appears that Jacob had had to fight for what was his own too. In Genesis 48:21-22 he allocated some land to Joseph. It appears that he had bought this plot of land fair and square, but the Amorites had seized it, and Jacob had had to fight them to get it back. Not only that, but he knew that the land would have to be reclaimed some time in the future when God took the family back to the land he had promised them. It was legally theirs – but they would have to fight for it. But the big thing was, God would be with them, on their side, in that fight.
I think the Christian walk can be like that too. If we have asked God for forgiveness of our sins through the death of Jesus Christ, and given our lives over to him, then legally we have salvation – full, free, and certain. That is the deal we strike with God when we commit our lives to him. Yet how often we have to fight for it! It’s generally fairly easy to hold on to our faith when all in the garden is rosy, and we can see God at work in our lives. It’s also often not that difficult to hold on in faith when the going is really tough – especially if there are lots of folk holding us up in prayer. And anyway, when the going is that difficult, where else are you going to get the strength you need to get through! But I think some of the greatest challenges to my faith have arisen when things are mediocre – not great, but not that terrible. Those are the times I have sometimes not felt like fighting to hold on, and wondered if maybe I was taking this Christianity thing too seriously. And little by little faith is pilfered away. But that salvation, that life in all its fullness, both here on earth and for eternity, is legally mine. And it’s more than worth fighting for…again…and again…and again… And remember, God is with us, on our side, in that fight.