How Will You Finish Your Race?

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”—2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
Do you have any trophies from winning a race or being in a team sport?
I serve as an assistant coach for our high school baseball team. Recently, our team earned the privilege to participate in the state championship, and we won! It was a great thrill for the boys and the entire school.
Scripture compares life to a race, and as you know, the finish to a race is more important than the beginning. To finish well is to end our lives on this earth in success, not in failure.
At the close of his life, the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:24 (NIV): “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” And with full confidence, we could say that Paul lived and fulfilled what God called him to do in his life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NKJV) we read, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things . . .”
The Scriptures are filled with people who didn’t run to win or to finish their race. Saul, Israel’s first king, did not. Samson, Israel’s strongest man, also did not. Judas betrayed the Lord and hung himself. However, Scripture does give us wonderful examples of those who did finish well:
Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land.
Caleb was as strong at 85 as he was at 40.
Esther became a queen and took a bold and risky step to save her people.
Peter made many mistakes yet became the first leader of the church.
The disciples lived out their lives and calling, and finished well.
The secret of finishing well in your race is found in Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV): “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus is the One who started us in this race. He is the One for whom we finish it.
Keep your eyes upon Him! His plans are to bless and greatly reward you.
DIG: Are you running in such a way that you will finish well?
DISCOVER: What do you need to change as you run your race? Take heart: Never give up!
DISPLAY: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV). Don’t give up in your race!

About the Author

Anne Lunkins