Finish strong. Have you ever heard that phrase before? Maybe you have heard that it’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters the most. Although each of us knows just how true that is, most people have a difficult time finishing the things that they start these days. Take dieting as an example. Do you know anyone who has made the quality decision to eat healthier foods that promote more energy, only to be back eating the same old stuff a couple of weeks later? I can tell you that I certainly have done that! Of course, there are many other examples. Each year, millions start with a “New Year’s Resolution” to quit smoking, workout more, or gossip less. Repeatedly, though, they fail to FINISH.
It has been said that you can only rate a person’s true capability by what he finishes, not by what he merely attempts. That’s why it is so vital to finish the things that we start. But did you know that, in life, not everything carries equal importance? I know that’s obvious, but many people feel obligated to finish everything to the point that they have a hard time prioritizing their focus. The things that are the most important in life are often the most important things to finish. If you finish last in a race, for example, people will just call you a loser. On the other hand, if you finish last in medical school, they’ll call you doctor. Ideally, we should finish everything that we begin; but that example should show you that your focus should be on the more important things first, and then everything else often falls into place.
Just like building a house, your walk of faith has several stages. Choosing to build your life on the Word of God is like building your life on the strongest foundation imaginable. Next, you frame your life’s “house” by declaring God’s Word into your life much like God framed our very universe with His WORDS (Hebrews 11:3). After that, we stay in faith as we REST in Him. This is true Biblical patience and is very much like the longest phase in building a house. It is like when all of the plumbing, electrical, and other mechanicals are put in place to make sure that the INTEGRITY of the house is unshakable. Finally, we arrive at the last phase. It is the home stretch, you may say, or where we get to finish in victory.
You may be picturing your elder years, but I’m not just referring to the end of our life here on Earth. Of course, that is one time that we will realize the ultimate “end of our faith”, but there should be many other victorious times in your life. If you have believed God for your daughter’s salvation for the past 23 years, the day you see her make Jesus the Lord of her life would be the “end of your faith” in that example. Or, it could be the manifestation of a physical healing that you have known belonged to you for many years. Maybe you found out long ago in the WORD that “by His stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24), you DECLARED that in your life, you labored to enter into His REST when everything looked like it wasn’t possible, and now it’s time to enjoy that last step in the building process. This final phase is the most fun. It is like getting to pick out all of the light fixtures, paint colors, and carpet. It is when you can literally smell move in day! This is the time frame when your victory is so close that you feel it with every fiber of your being. Then, you realize that it happens just like the rest of the process… in faith.
My friend, you have to finish just like you began. You have to finish in FAITH. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the source of every ounce of our victory. Just like it is because of Him that you were even able to begin this journey of faith, it is because of Him that you will end it. Many believers start out knowing that it’s by the grace of our Lord that they overcome, but then they think they can finish better in their own strength. We see in Galatians 3:3 that this is not the way to the Jesus-kind of victory. We are called to live from faith to faith (Romans 1:17) and not from faith to works! Just stay in faith by resting in Him today you can be sure that you will finish strong!
Today’s Word Study: Acts 20:16-24