New beginnings are always exciting. The start of a relationship is filled with joy and pleasure. A new job is taken up with anticipation and challenge. Going on a journey is adventurous and fun filled. Yes, starting anything new is thrilling for most people. However, the real question is: How will you finish your race? When the relationship becomes challenging, the new job is thwart with problems, the journey gets boring, will you finish, and more importantly, will you finish well?
I have seen people become bored with their relationships and cop out to find a new partner. I have witnessed people at the first sign of a challenge leave their career. But, sadly the most disturbing sight is when I see Christians give up the faith. I understand there are hoards of reasons for why people do things, but I find it difficult to understand why people deny their God because other people have failed them or the church has let them down. People are human, they will fail and they will disappoint us. Churches are imperfect and there will be times when we are sorely disappointed with what takes place in church. But that should never reflect on our relationship with God.
So how do we prevent failure and finish our race well? If you read Hebrews chapter 12 it gives us some really good advice.
- Keep your eye on the goal: Hebrews says that we must "...look to Jesus" If you run a race and are distracted by the crowd I can assure you that you will not finish well. Whether it is their booing or applauding the distraction is not good. That is why we must keep focused on Jesus. Don't have your eyes on people. Christian leaders also fail, they also have feet of clay, but to blame a Christian leader's failure for your decision to leave the faith is a major cop out. The only One that will never fail you or disappoint you is Jesus.
- Run your race: Hebrews 12 says "run the race marked out for you." I think it is wonderful that God has already marked out my particular race. He knows me, He formed me and He will give me the grace to run my own race. Yes, you can only run your race. You can never try to run some else's race. When we are always complaining about our lives and making comparisons with other people it does not help us. In fact, I can assure you that it will hinder your race.
- Finish the race: Hebrews says"finish the race marked out for you." The emphasis is on finishing the race. You see we can start any new venture with enthusiasm, but how we finish it is what counts. You will only finish this Christian race if you keep your focus on Jesus and you ensure that you are not comparing and competing with anyone else. Keep your eye on the goal.
I pray that you will finish even better than you began. I trust that every day, whatever the challenge, you will grow stronger and more determined to follow Jesus with your whole heart. My prayer for you is that you will finish well.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,