2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
The phrase “seeing things through” means to persist with an undertaking until it is completed. The ability to persevere or soldier on is an important characteristic that Young people should have in this day and age. The general tendency amongst many people is that of giving up and succumbing to pressure or resistance. In this lesson the focus will be on the importance of a young believer seeing things through to the end.
- Starting things
The journey of life on earth is like a race, it has a start and end. Starting something new is exciting and even though it may not always be easy, it is an experience that people enjoy. When people start something they have hopes and dreams of great things that will be achieved. As a young person, you will be involved in starting many new things in life. You will be involved in starting university, starting a business, starting a marriage relationship etc. Life as we know it involves starting new things all the time. A life with no new things is a stagnant life.
As a young believer when you are born again by accepting Jesus Christ, you begin a new journey which involves living for God. It’s a journey that involves keeping the faith through dying to self and being transformed into the likeness of God by living a righteous life. This journey or race is not an easy one because it involves self-denial and a dependency on your Heavenly father.
- A good fight is worth fighting
- Hurdles in life
In our scripture Paul speaks of “the good fight”. The good fight is a battle that one has against sin and stumbling blocks that seek to disqualify them from the race. Even though it is easy to start many things when the road gets rough and tough many people chose the option of giving up and yielding to temptations to sin.
In Matthew 13:1-8; 18-23 is a parable told by Jesus about a sower who scatters seed which falls on different places and the outcomes of the seed. From the parable we can deduce that whenever you receive and accept the word of God, there is a direct attack on your life from the enemy. In the parable Jesus illustrates three out of four scenarios where there is no growth. Lasting a short time, when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away, the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. The blessing is that there is a good seed which grows and makes it to its full potential. When you are distracted you don’t complete the race and you never get to experience the journey of life in its fullness as God intended it for your life.
When you are running the race in life as young believer, there are many distractions which seek to pull you out of the race. The weight of sin seeks to cling to believers whilst they are running the race, to make them grow weary and lose focus of the end goal. For many young people distractions can be:
- Bad influence from friends
- Unrighteous relationships
All these distractions require a young believer to fight the good fight and keep the faith by being obedient to God’s word by making right choices. The word fight is a verb, it’s a doing word. This means there are actions you need to take when fighting the good fight spiritually. In order to win a fight one has to be prepared and fully equipped like a soldier going to battle. Paul encourages believers to put on the full armor of God.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Focus on Jesus
Our example is Jesus Christ Himself, despite all the resistance and attacks upon His life by the people He came to save, He fulfilled the Will of God regardless. He finished the race with excellence.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
- The blessing of seeing things through to the end
- God is involved
When God is involved you can conquer any principalities which come your way. Many at times people forget the power of God who saved them and tend to rely on themselves to overcome attacks from the evil one. He is the one who sustains and keeps His children when they are obedient to His word and continually seek Him. The battle is the Lord’s and if God is involved the battle is won.
1 Corinthians 1:8
He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ
- God finishes His work
Throughout the bible we see God starting and finishing things. He started and finished creation in seven days, He took the Israelites from bondage in Egypt to Canaan the promised land and through Jesus Christ His plan of salvation was completed. When Jesus was at the cross He said “it is finished” John 19:30 because He knew that all scripture had been accomplished as God had said.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- The reward for finishing
The blessing of finishing a race is that there is a reward at the finish line. Like an athletic race, when you get to the end you get a medal. God recognises those you finish the race and those who kept the faith. He sees the good fights and anyone’s desire to finish the race without being disqualified.
Verse 8 of our main scripture gives a great and encouraging promise for finishing the race:
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
As a young believer you can be rest assured that if you remain in the will of God, you will finish the race and receive your crown from the Heavenly Father. I hope this gives you encouragement and joy to know that one that when you endure till the end, there is an everlasting reward!