How do we “finish well” as Paul did?

Do you ever feel like time is flying by? Hopefully, that means you’re having fun. But often I find that it means I’m simply busy!

Even as the seasons fly past us, there are times of life that are a new start and times when things are winding down. We are in such a season here at iHope: finishing up our first full calendar year of this ministry, saying goodbye to one of our counselors moving out of the area, wrapping up big events and preparing for the new year of 2019.

How do we finish such seasons well?

At the end of his letter to Timothy, Paul writes: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7). He is writing this at the end of his natural life, but we certainly want to stand alongside him in every season of life, to stand confident that we too have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.

I notice that this verse comes immediately after Paul’s acknowledgement in verses 1-6 that in order for Timothy to also finish well, like Paul has, he will need to have “great patience and careful instruction.” Amen. We need the same! The key to finishing well is to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Around Paul and Timothy, the culture invested in lies that their “itching ears” wanted to hear. Is our culture today any different? Nope. Our culture is equally tempted to believe what their itching ears want to hear. We are tempted to believe what our hurting hearts want to feel, or to believe what our stressed-out minds want to experience. In the midst of this culture, God calls his children each to accomplish “good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). We accomplish those good works by standing firm in God’s truth and loving those around us as Christ loved the church – with sacrificial, compassionate, truth-honoring care.

I don’t know what season of life you are in right now. You may be starting new and exciting things; if so, may I encourage you to start strong and to have great patience through the trials and joys and sorrows that are to come. Or, you may be in a season of change, a season of things ending. If so, may I encourage you to take a deep breath, focus on the mission God has called you to, and to kneel before him in prayer and study of his Word seeking his careful instruction.

 Whatever season you are in today, may it be a blessing to you and to our community.

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director