Paul the apostle, a spiritual warrior, testified as he came to the end of his embattled life: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).
What is the distance from God’s throne of splendor down to the abyss of Calvary’s cross? What is the measure of the Savior’s love for us? In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he described Jesus’ descent from the heights of glory to the depths of shame and agony and back again (2:5-11).
The story is told that the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) was sauntering through Berlin’s famous Tiergarden one day, mentally probing the questions of origin and destiny that had been constantly perplexing him: Who am I? Where am I going?
Composer George Frideric Handel was bankrupt when in 1741 a group of Dublin charities offered him a commission to write a musical work. It was for a benefit performance to raise funds to free men from a debtors’ prison. He accepted that commission and gave himself tirelessly to work on it.
Ayn Rand, an American philosopher who died in 1982, gathered a sizable following who read her books and attended her lectures. An avid individualist, she had this to say: “Now I see the free face of god and I raise this god over all the earth, this god who men have sought since men came into being, the god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word, I.” When asked if she believed in God, she answered, “This god is myself, I.” Egotism—faith in oneself—that’s what this philosopher believed in.
Jeremy Taylor was a 17th-century English cleric who was severely persecuted for his faith. But though his house was plundered, his family left destitute, and his property confiscated, he continued to count the blessings he could not lose.
Have you at some time found yourself under extreme pressure? Have there been episodes in your life when you were so burdened by tasks and responsibilities that there was simply no breathing space to prepare for your service to God?
Questions about God’s existence often troubled H. A. Hodges, a brilliant young professor of philosophy at Oxford University. One day as he strolled down the street, he passed by an art store. His attention was gripped by a simple picture in the window. It showed Jesus kneeling to wash His disciples’ feet.