May 18, 2022
From Pastor Joe Wamack
Do you know who said these famous words?-“Yo Adrienne!” They were spoken by the beloved movie character-Rocky Balboa. The first movie in the Rocky series won Best Picture in 1976.
The original movie and each sequel showed Rocky overcoming obstacles to achieve victory. The story lines were predictable and cheesy, but when Rocky spoke about struggles or showed determination to fight, it brought tears to eyes. Maybe we identified with his humanity and perseverance.
Rocky was punched and pummeled by more powerful opponents, but always got up to fight again. What I love about Rocky is he had tenacity–a “never-say-die”, fighting spirit. Apollo Creed (in Rocky III) called it “the eye of the tiger”-there was even a song about it! (Do you know the band that did that song?) Rocky had a hunger to win more than other boxers. He was often knocked down, but rarely knocked out! Rocky once said “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” (Cue the Rocky theme song!)
My prayer is-that like Rocky, we would have the same perseverance and tenacity. We need to learn an important aspect of the journey of faith-perseverance. When things get tough, as they will, hang in there, depend on God, fight it out. It is not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up again.
The Bible says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
The world is not an easy place and the people of God are called to be tough. Some people think faith is for the weak-those who can’t deal with the real world and can’t make it on their own. They think faith in God is a crutch-that is totally untrue! Do you think of Godly faith as weak and fragile-“a pie in the sky, care bears, cotton candy, boring hymns, based on fables and bedtime stories, put you to sleep, a tiptoe through the tulips” faith? You are mistaken if you do.
Godly Faith is for the strong-those who are willing to march forward every day in every situation and never give up. It doesn’t mean we have all the answers but trust God at each step, to sustain us through all experiences-to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. The world of faith is a powerfully, positive, persevering world that confronts the dark night of the soul and clings to its faith in God on bended knee while sweating drops of blood if needed. The victor might be bloodied and weary, but is not defeated. Have “Rocky-like faith” today!