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Finishing well

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 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. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:5-8 Christians are called upon to live a contrasting life from the prevailing practice of the time. This was what Paul was telling Timothy from the text. Christians should not take their cues for living nor should be influenced by the attitudes of those in the society whether religious or not. We find our directions in life from God’s revealed Word and the prompting of His Spirit. These should dictate how we view life and should guide our yearnings as well as our attitudes and desires. This is where we struggle for we assume that life in Christ will be easy. This is why some abandoned their walk with God for when the pressures in life intensify they lose their desire to follow God. This is the reason why Paul referred to Christian living as a “battle.” And he challenged Timothy as well us every believer to fight the good fight. There were instances when Paul struggled yet he endured for he was looking forward to the finish line where Christ awaits to give “the crown of righteousness.” He described how he persevered in the midst of suffering. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Our faith will always be tested by sufferings and God wants us to persevere until the end. We can always announce and claim that we are His children but faith in God is proven in our endurance to run the race he had set for us and to be persistent until the end. The challenge is to “keep a clear mind in every situation” by holding firm to the unshakeable truth of God’s Word. Let us live our life committed to God and His calling in such a way that when the day comes for us to see Him face to face, we can declare with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!”


Noel De Guzman

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