Who cares how we started? Can we turn the spotlight off our past hurts and failures? Can we extend a hand to help lift each other up?
I don’t normally start a blog this way, but today I’m in a fighting mood. Why? Because many of us are weary, worn out, beaten down, and ready to give up. And I’m ready to fight for us all.
I’ve been there.
I know the struggles. I know the dark places. I know the desperation. I know what it feels like to be lost and alone. Even in a sea of people.
Many of us wrestle with not feeling good enough. We’ve heard it. We’ve believed it. Now we’re living it. We just can’t seem to get it right. Relationships. Family. Work. Diets. Money. God.
Some days we can hardly keep going. Maybe we fell again into our pit of desire. Maybe we can’t pay our bills. Maybe someone we love left and we’re carrying the shame and guilt. Maybe we’re afraid of what others think about us––or maybe we’re afraid what they’ll think when they hear about our past.
This messy life isn’t what we signed up for. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.
But precious friend, God confirms that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been. The start of your journey doesn’t define you, and it will forever remain behind you. Our “finish” has yet to be written. Finishing strong begins with one good, God-centric next step.
Start here: What do you want your “finish” to look like?
For some of us, life today feels like a marathon. We got a slow start. We may have an injury from the past that keeps flaring up. We undoubtedly get tired and feel like we can’t go another foot, much less another mile. But as we keep pressing on step after step, we get into a rhythm. Our pace quickens when we realize that physically we can go farther. But then the battle brews in our heart and mind. Will we give in and turn around? Will we give up and stop? Or will we persevere and cross the finish line with arms held high? When we run with Jesus, we don’t run aimlessly. He has a new path marked out for us.
“Let’s throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let’s run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1–2).
For others, life today feels like a 10-round fight in a boxing ring. We made costly mistakes early on. We may have moved left when we should have swung right. Certainly we’ll take some jabs. We’ll get knocked down a time or two. But we’ll also get back up. We’re not alone because we’re with Jesus. And when the bell rings on those early rounds, we’re smarter. We’re wiser. We’re better prepared for what’s next. As Christ-followers, we continue a long legacy of fighters who didn’t give up. They fought the good fight and won. And so will we.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Whether life feels like a marathon, a boxing match, or something else:
- Each day we find nourishment for our souls as we turn to God’s Word. Soak in His life-giving truth.
- Each day we can draw strengthen, encouragement, and support from trusted sisters and brothers in Christ. Find a community of running and sparring partners.
- Each day Christ fills us to overflowing with His peace. His power. His Holy Spirit. Let’s get on our knees and be honest with God about our weaknesses (1 Corinthians 12:9). And He will shepherd us forward.
When we trust God to train us and sustain us, He will transform us from the inside out. We will never be the same again. And we will rise to victory.
How do you want to finish?
Before the inspirational rally of “Boston Strong” and “Vegas Strong”, people united under the moniker “Finish Strong.” Let’s finish strong together. It doesn’t matter where or how any of us started. Finish in step with Jesus. Finish together with sisters and brothers by your side. Finish and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
May I pray for you? Father God, some days we can’t think about finishing strong. Or finishing at all. We’re sinking in our circumstances. We’re strained by our past. And we don’t see how we can turn things around. But Lord, You can. Help us persevere. Continue to strengthen and transform us as we turn to You. And please forgive us when we doubt You. For if we’ll fight the good fight to the end––if we’ll finish the race and run with You––our faith will be a strong tower that cannot be shaken. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Amen.