Finish The Race
The apostle Paul never quit the battle. Even at the end he's fighting "the good fight" (2 Timothy 4:7) He knew that his time was almost up, he had done all that he could to spread the Gospel but as long as he still had breath he was willing to continue until the very end. The race he was running was not a sprint, but a marathon.
Don't you love the finish of a marathon, where you see the runner come into the stadium, run the course, and collapse through the finish line into the arms of his trainer?
In our case we need to run the course of our lives, we train daily through reading the Bible, praying and fasting. We have to keep running this race until the very end. When we reach our goal and the finish line is visible, we have to be able to cross it and fall into the arms of our trainer, Jesus Christ.
But it is not an easy race to run. There are many things in life that we have to struggle through. Life is not just a bed of roses but it also has its thorns. Some things in life are easy to go by and others are not as easy.
Sometimes it seems that we can't continue on our course. We want to give up or give in. We are already tired of running this marathon. It seems that all the training and all the struggle that we went through just was not worth it.
We tend to not look towards the future and we take our eyes away from the goal in the end. God has promised those who remain faithful until the end a crown and eternal life. He said that he went to prepare a mansion for us up in heaven and that he will wait for us until it is our time to be with him.
Our marathon is like no other, there are certain obstacles in our path that we must confront and get through. We have an enemy that doesn't want us to finish this race and he throws different things in our path to get us to fail.
We have a coach that is always with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. This coach abides in us and gives us strength to make it through until the end. When we get weak, he renews our strength. When it seems like we can't keep on, he takes us in his arms and helps us along the way. God is with us every single step of the way.
We must keep going, with our eyes focused on the goal and our minds and heart determined to finish the race. But we can't do it alone, no matter how hard we train. Sometimes we are to proud to seek help and we struggle to keep going. But it is when we reach out to him that his hands are stretched out to encourage us to go forward. When we stop trying with our own strength, he takes over and shows us that it's not by strength nor by might, but by his Spirit that we can overcome. Don't give up, no matter how hard it seems. Let God take control of your life, put God first above all else and everything will fall in its place.
God doesn't have a retirement plan for any of His followers. We're never out of the army. We're never released from duty until we are home. So we have to give it everything we got. This is a long battle, which we must never give up on.
When Paul says, "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7), he's not comparing faith to an heirloom, packed in a safe place, not to be touched. He has kept the faith against all the odds. He has kept the faith against all circumstances and obstacles that have come along the path. He has not given up, although many times he may have felt like doing so. But it is when we are weak that he is strong. The Bible tells us that greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) If God is with us, who can be against us. (Romans 8:31) Keep running the race no matter how hard it becomes, for he is with you every step of the way and will help you until the very end.