The Fight of Faith

Title: The Fight of Faith

Bible Book: 1 Timothy 6 : 12

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Faith; Determination; Dedication



Paul instructed his son in the ministry, Timothy, to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). Though the fight of faith is a good fight, it is not always pleasant. Paul was to later tell Timothy to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3). All soldiers must be willing and prepared to endure hardships in the midst of battle. Otherwise victory will elude them.

Fighting the good fight of faith required Timothy to exercise a dynamic trust and reliance in the Lord Jesus. But the kind of faith we’re talking about here was more than merely some sort of warm fuzzy feeling that everything was going to work out alright. Contrariwise, Timothy’s reliance upon Christ was grounded in the promises of God’s Word. You see; the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) must always back up the Shield of Faith (Eph. 6:16). They always work in cooperation with one another. By the same token, the Christian warrior of today must have the Word of God as the basis of his faith.

Faith in God will overcome the greatest obstacles of our lives. Even Satan must bow to the faith of the believer. The best example of this truth is found in 1 Samuel 17. There we find young David, a mere shepherd boy, facing a most formidable foe. Yet his faith in God saw him through to victory. As David of old fought the giant by faith, the Christian of today must also war and walk by faith. Today’s message will examine the characteristics of David’s dynamic faith. If this type of confidence in God is practiced in our daily lives, we will reap the rewards of a victorious Christian life.

Theme: David’s faith was characterized by the fact that…


A. Notice The Difference Between Faith And Fear.

1. David was full of optimism.

1 Sam. 17:32 “And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him [Goliath]; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

Faith in God may seem to be foolhardy to some. But a faith that rests itself in the character and faithfulness of God will always be optimistic.

When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship.

“Mr. Taylor,” he said, “we have no wind. We are drifting toward an island where the people are heathen, and I fear they are cannibals.”

“What can I do?” asked Taylor.

“I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind.”

“All right, Captain, I will, but you must set the sail.”

“Why that’s ridiculous! There’s not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the sailors will think I’m crazy.” But finally, because of Taylor’s insistence, he agreed.

Forty-five minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees. “You can stop praying now,” said the captain. “We’ve got more wind than we know what to do with!”[1]

2. Saul was full of objections and obstacles.

1 Sam. 17:33 “And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

B. Notice David’s Dependence On God’s Faithfulness.

1 Sam. 17:34 “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:

35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37a David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…”

David’s confidence wasn’t in his physical strength or ability. His personal confidence rested squarely upon Jehovah God, Who had delivered him in the past. David had learned that God was always faithful.

A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:

“Is anyone up there?”

“I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?”

“Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer.”

“That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch.”

A moment of pause, then: “Is anyone else up there?”[2]


David’s faith was not merely an empty concept. He put his faith to practical use for the needs and trials of life. By the same token, faith toward God must be more than a theological concept to which the child of God gives passive credence. Our faith toward God must be exercised in the daily grind of our lives.

A. David’s Confession.

1 Sam. 17:38 “And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.

39 And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”

David could not use methods or equipment that were unfamiliar to him. He could not wear the armor of Saul that had been worn in fear, but he could use a simple sling wielded in faith. Worldly tactics and equipment are insufficient for spiritual warfare. David’s trust would not be in armor or armament, but in the Almighty.

B. Goliath’s Cursing.

1. Goliath was insulted that Israel would send out a mere shepherd boy to do their fighting.

1 Sam. 17:41 “And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.

42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.”

NOTE: The word “disdained” means that Goliath despised or scorned the very sight of David.

2. Goliath began to curse David in the name of his gods.

1 Sam. 17:43 “And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”

Beware Christian! Don’t allow Satan to put his bluff over on you. Don’t let him psych you out with his scare tactics. This is what he tried to do with David. Goliath probably figured that with a little harsh threatening, David would simply run screaming from the battlefield. But this heathen giant had severely underestimated David and his God.

During World War II, a military governor met with General George Patton in Sicily. When he praised Patton highly for his courage and bravery, the general replied, “Sir, I am not a brave man. . . The truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of gunshot or in sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands.”

Years later, when Patton’s autobiography was published, it contained this significant statement by the general: “I learned very early in my life never to take counsel of my fears.”[3]

Keep in mind that Satan will always try to shake the Christian from the ground of faith, by trying to get him to give in to fear. The key issue at the root of our fears is ownership. Who owns your life? If it belongs to you, you may have cause to fear. But if you take the stance that you and all you possess belongs to God, that’s cause for faith.

C. David’s Confidence.

1 Sam. 17:45 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”\

David’s statement here begs the question: In what or whom does my confidence lie? If our confidence for the battles of life lies with anything or anyone else but faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s in the wrong place.


A. David’s God Was Exalted.

1. David believed that Goliath’s defeat would reveal God’s presence.

1 Sam. 17:46 “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine had; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

Our response to the giants in our lives reveals what we really believe about our God. The world is watching.

Everything we do should bring God glory, even the way we face the giants of life.

J.S. Bach said, “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hub-bub.”

He headed his compositions: “J.J.” “Jesus Juva” which means “Jesus help me.” He ended them “S.D.G.” “Soli Dei Gratia” which means “To God alone the praise.”[4]

2. David knew that the defeat of Goliath would reveal God’s power.

1 Sam. 17:47 “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.”

B. David’s Faith Was Effective.

1 Sam. 17:48 “And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

And David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.”

It is rather ironic that the very sword upon which Goliath so heavily relied was the very instrument of his demise. However, He upon whom David had entrusted his very life had brought about a miraculous victory.

I’m sure that David could agree with the words of Hezekiah, who said, “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles…” (2 Chron. 32:8a).

[1] Source unknown. Acquired from

[2] Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 3.

[3] Source unknown. Acquired from

[4] J. Stowell, Kingdom Conflict, Victor, 1985, p. 77ff.

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