Happy Mother’s Day! In memory of my sweet mom, I’m sharing a devotion about fighting the good fight and finishing well. My mom certainly lived this out, and she received her crown of righteousness in 2009.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
When I was 22, 2 Timothy 4:7 seemed easy. Sure, fight the good fight, finish the race. I’ve got this, how had hard can it be?
Fast forward to 2019, and at 52 years old, the fight has been harder than I expected. The race has been full of rocks, and mud and more rough roads than I ever imagined.
In some ways, I understand Paul a little bit better now. Paul did not preach a prosperity gospel. Paul was real, he was honest, and he knew we would need the encouragement on this journey with Christ.
So here are 3 things I think we can all learn from Paul:
1. We Are All Fighting Battles. It’s often said, that we’re in the middle of a difficult season, we’re about to be in a difficult season, or we just got out of a difficult season. Scripture says in Matthew 5;45, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
What are you facing today, a broken marriage, a scary health diagnosis, a child that has turned into the prodigal, maybe you’re dealing with aging parents and decisions that are hard.
Whatever the battle, let me remind you, not only is Jesus cheering you on, but you have a cloud of witnesses cheering you on.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1
In demanding and stressful seasons, don’t give up! Run this race with endurance. You aren’t the one person who has done more than what God can forgive, or you haven’t gone through the one thing that God can’t redeem.
2. We Need to Finish Well. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7, I kept the faith. Paul finished well, and it wasn’t easy. He faced more on his journey than most of us will ever have to face, but he kept going.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NLT) says, Finishing is better than starting. How we finish, this journey is important. Finish strong, keep fighting, don’t give up. Your reward is waiting.
3. We Have a Crown Of Righteousness Waiting For Us. Trials are a part of this journey, but Paul tells us the fight is worth it and one day we will receive the crown of righteousness. Whatever we face, whether it’s brokenness, discouragement, loss, we must remember that the best is yet to come. We will see Jesus and live with Him forever.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4 (NLT)
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