Jeremiah 12:5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?
Finish strong, or however you want to say it, “Finish strong, finish hard, or finish right,” do your best to finish the race God has placed you in with the life He has given you. I caught myself looking at the clock at the gym and wondering how much time I had left to complete my workout. I quickly reprimanded myself for looking for an easy finish. I had to say out loud, “Come on Norm, finish strong!” When I catch myself making up excuses for being a slacker in things that need to get done, I often think of Jeremiah’s words, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” How true is that? If I can’t do the things that I need to do daily, what am I going to do if times get really hard?
If I can’t pray and spend time with God when the days are good, how will I ask for help during a frantic panic when the world is crashing around me? If I cannot control my eating habits and make sure I am exercising regularly, how will I find the courage and willpower to work out and eat properly when a diagnosis of multiple deadly conditions comes rushing at me like an armed bandit to take over my existence? How can I finish strong when all my choices are weak and undisciplined wishful thinking? Prov. 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
We hear people say these wishful things all the time. I wish I could get up early and spend time with the Lord. I wish I could get to work on time. I wish I could push away from the table when I am full. Prov. 13:4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. I wish I would get off my lazy butt and do what needs to be done. On and on the wishing goes. To be able to finish strong, we need to become strong in the areas of life where God has sown inspirational tenacity within us to accomplish what we were created to fulfill. Prov. 23:7a For as he thinks within himself, so he is. We need to break through the walls of laziness that everyone has experienced throughout their lives. Not everyone is hard-wired to take on every challenge that comes their way. Some will need to apply much more effort than others just to accomplish small tasks. That is fine, as long as you finish strong and go on to the next Godly life-changing lesson for living in Christ’s righteousness.
For some making their bed before they leave home may be the the Goliath they need to conquer, and for others, it may be finishing their doctorate in the field of learning that burns in their hearts. Nevertheless, whatever magnitude the task is, finishing strong will help determine the character of heart one has in life. I was asked, what if I had a very short time to live, and the book I was writing would not get finished? I said, “I reckon I would write faster.” Not trying to be a wise guy, but these hypothetical questions of What if does not matter when you are living your best life to the fullest and are doing the best you can with what the Lord has given you. Besides, it is God who determines what we do and eventually accomplish. Yes, we are willing participants in the plan God has for us, therefore, worrying about what gets finished in our lives is His problem. I say this reverently because God has the number of our days in His hands. Our job or raison d’etre is to go forth in Christ’s righteousness and finish the race set before us.
I am sure the Apostle Paul could have done much more had he not been killed during Nero’s reign of persecution towards the Christians. He knew his time was short. Paul declares that he will finish strong and that there will be a blessed reward at the end of it all. 2Tim. 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. He finished his race even though he had the knowledge and capacity to have done much more. My point is, that Paul finished strong, and we are blessed because of it. We have his letters to the church, which help, direct, and instruct us to live in Christ’s righteousness.
Whatever the trials and tribulations that show up on our road to eternity are, they can be conquered with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The thing that is often missing in Christian’s lives is the will within a person to move ahead when the Spirit of God is prodding them along. Many become weary and tired because they do not do the small things their faith requires to grow. Complacency becomes a default setting in the heart, and insipidness becomes the fruit of their day-to-day existence. The Word expressly warns us not to give up on what God has inspired us to sow into. Gal. 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. If God has given us a vision, then God will give us the means to fulfill it and finish strong. How good is that?