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In the day we live in, it appears everyone likes to start things – all kinds of ways to begin things like marriage, a new job, school or college, participation on a team, etc. Though starting is a part of life and beginning comes before the end, there seems to be a problem with finishing.
God put us on this earth not only to start but also to finish. Hebrews 12:1 in the Amplified says, “And let us run with patient endurance and steady persistence, the appointed course of the race that is set before us.” The definition of patience is “an abiding under persistence, perseverance, consistency, steadfastness; bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfastness despite opposition, difficulty or adversity.”
The Bible says, “let us run.” Get involved in God’s race. God has a life for all of us to live. We find it spending time with Him – learning His Word and examining our passions and gifts. So we have to race according to His thoughts and plans if we are going to be successful. We also have the race of day to day living – allowing God’s Word to lead us in the affairs of life in all aspects.
As you and I make the decision and be determined that we will run God’s race (His will or appointed course for your life) and to finish it as a believer – living in God’s grace and trusting Him will bring great peace and results. God’s steadfastness is one of the major components to going the distance or finishing the race.
As a little boy learning to help my dad on the farm, he constantly told me it’s not all about the start, but how you finish. My father would be just as efficient and effective at the end of the day as he was when he began. I want to encourage you that you are not a quitter. Jesus lives in you, as a believer and he never will quit.
The Bible is full of scriptures about the patience and endurance of finishing this race well. Hebrews 6:15, “And so after He had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 10:30, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” James 5:11, “Behold, we count them happy which endure, you have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of Job, that the Lord is very compassionate and full of tender mercy.”
Because Job endured, God blessed the latter end of Job’s life more than the beginning. God’s blessings are coming – hold fast. Don’t give up. Keep doing what you know how to. Jesus will give you the strength and courage you need. Your patient endurance will bring great results. Be like the Apostle Paul. Let’s finish strong the course God sets before us. Be determined – God will see you finish strong.
The Rev. Pat Butcher is pastor of Family Worship Center in Carrollton, Ky.