How to Face Death and Keep Standing!

image of wildland firefighter standing in front of flames with title how to face death and keep standing

I’m a dangerous man today because I’ve died twice. I died in Jesus and then I physically died of a heart attack. I could tell you my testimony, and it won’t change much five years from now. But if I tell you how I faced what I faced, how I’m standing here now—it’ll last you the rest of your life by showing you how to face death and keep standing.

How do you fight the right fight the right way?

When I’m tempted to sin, I have to fight the good fight of faith. I’m not fighting to be made righteous; I’m fighting to maintain my righteousness in Christ. I’m not fighting to get healed; I’m fighting to maintain my healing that Jesus paid for.

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Look at this in 1 Timothy 6:11. It says to “pursue righteousness.” You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, yet the Word is telling you to “pursue” that. You’re not pursuing God to be made righteous; you’re pursuing how to apply righteousness in your life.

It’s a good fight, but it’s a fight. A good fight is one you win. You’re never going to win any of your fights in this life if you don’t predetermine before you go into a fight that you’re already a winner. God has already declared you and me a winner in every fight in this life.

Like those pre-scripted wrestling matches where it’s predetermined who’s going to win, God has already destined you to win every single fight you find yourself in. But you still must fight it out and trust God during the fight. That’s the good fight of faith.

How do you have a good fight?

How do you have a good fight, and having done all, to stand (Eph. 6)? What’s involved with the kind of faith it takes to endure the afflictions of this life? There are three elements involved with your faith, and everyone I’ve ever talked to who is struggling in fighting their good fight of faith has needed at least one of these three things solidified in their heart.

These three things are what the devil will attack. They’re called cooperative powers. If you don’t understand these powers, you’ll lose in these three areas. And it’ll impact your faith.

Here are the three cooperative powers that will cause faith to move a mountain in your life:

1. Hope – Faith works in hope.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The devil knows that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov. 13:12). So, he will try to get you to give up hope during your trial, which will cancel out the power of your faith.

2. Love – Faith works by love.

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

The heart of God’s love for you is His forgiveness of your sins so that when you face a fiery trial, you’re not condemned.

3. Patience – Faith works with patience.

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The joy in trials is not our feelings; it’s in knowing our faith is being tested, patience is being produced, character is being developed, and in the end, we’ll be found lacking nothing (James 1:2–4 and Rom. 5:1–5).

What is faith?

Hope, love, and patience work together with faith, like the nucleus of a nuclear bomb. A nucleus is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. A nuclear bomb explosion is caused by the splitting of the nucleus of an atom. That can’t be done without a proton, neutron, and electron. Faith is a power that will blow a mountain in your life into the sea, and it has a proton, neutron, and electron. It is hope, love, and patience that will cause faith to move the mountains you’re facing into the sea.

When I was having that massive heart attack and everything was happening so quickly, how did my faith work for me? How did it help me get to where I am right now? It was hope, love, and patience that caused the atomic power of my faith to literally blow multiple mountains into the sea.

If this teaching blessed you, don’t miss Pastor Duane at the 2024 Riverside Gospel Truth Conference February 15–17 where you can hear him live! Visit the Riverside GTC registration page to register today.
Picture of Duane Sheriff

Duane Sheriff

Duane is an author and speaker who travels the world sharing at conferences and churches. The founding pastor of Victory Life Church, Duane is also a regular speaker at Charis Bible College and a weekly host of the Truth & Liberty Live Call-In Show. Duane’s humor and unique revelation of Scripture resurrects hope, ignites faith, and presents the Gospel with clarity and simplicity.


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