I enjoy the thrill of watching events with fabulous finishes; like the swimmer that wins the race by a millisecond, or the winning basket that swishes through the net as the buzzer sounds. I have often considered the extremely different outcomes that would have resulted if each person had given up early.
Have you ever given up on something too early? If you have, then you may have experienced personal disappointment or regret. Sadly, giving up early can at times also affect others.
Have you considered the reason you chose to quit? Perhaps you committed to something then realized that your desire had changed. Maybe the task was taking too long to complete, became too difficult, or wasn’t rewarding enough for you. Could it be that others failed to encourage you in the process?
Now, imagine Jesus on His journey to the cross: Despised and rejected by men, enduring unjust cruely—humiliation, pain, injury, agony. Remember the purpose for which He was sent; the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
John 19:28-30 records that when Jesus work had been completed He said, “It is finished!” And bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. Notice that Jesus didn’t give up or give in until the work was done.
Can you also imagine the outcome if Jesus’ work was incomplete? What would be your lot in life had Jesus decided to quit prior to reaching the goal?
Certainly, only Jesus, the sinless lamb, could have fulfilled such a great work. But, what about the work God the Father has called you to do?
- God called His son, Jesus, to complete a task on this earth. God also calls each of us, His children, to specific kingdom work during our time on earth (Ephesians 2:10).
- Just as God and His Spirit empowered Jesus to complete the work assigned to Him, God through His indwelling Holy Spirit will also enable each of us to fully finish our divinely appointed work (John 6:38, John 14:10-13).
In 1 Corinthians 9:24 the Apostle Paul wrote: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Since a prize is received after completing a race rather than before, perhaps it would be beneficial to consider possible reasons that would prevent you from completing your race.
- Do you entertain thoughts of quitting rather than remaining focused on the prize?
- Is it your habit to compare yourself to others in the race?
- Are you content to run the race God has assigned to you, in the lane He shows you to run in, and at His designated pace?
In addition to watching fabulous finishes, I’ve also witnessed the disappointment of fans who have chosen to walk out of a game in the fourth quarter or ninth inning because they believed the game was over, only to find out later that their team miraculously won. Perhaps you feel like you are experiencing the last few minutes in the fourth quarter of a game; you are behind by such a deficit that unless God intervenes you will fail to experience victory over your situation. Perhaps your circumstance has you in the bottom of the ninth and you are down in the count—you’re still in the game.
God’s glory is revealed most in His amazing, supernaturally fabulous finishes! This truth should encourage us to persevere until God’s work in us and in each life situation is complete.
Are you trusting God for a fabulous finish in your current life situation? Are you asking Him to work in such a way that enables you to compete well, finish the race strong, and bring honor to His name?