“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:7
So often in sports, teams change their tactics after taking a big lead. A team is winning by a large margin and all of a sudden it changes the game plan, forgetting that the original game plan is what gave it the lead. In these scenarios, the players act as if they have already won, and sometimes end up losing because of this. In reality, there’s always something left to be done, right up until the final whistle.
If you’re an athlete or grew up playing sports, you probably even experienced a coach telling your team to lighten up after taking a big lead. Maybe it led to your team losing the game, or making big mistakes that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Just like in sports, if you let up in life once you start winning, you risk making big mistakes. God doesn’t want us to let up; instead He wants us to persevere until the end.
In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, the apostle Paul is giving encouragement to Timothy to stay strong until the end of the fight. Paul is giving us this encouragement too. The fight isn’t over and God calls us to persevere until we stand face to face with Him: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.”
The prize of fighting until the end and remaining strong isn’t for the accomplishment of winning a game or an award — it’s for remaining faithful. We can’t earn it or achieve it, no matter how many earthly rewards come with fighting until the end. God will give us the crown of righteousness — for finishing the race — when He returns.
The race of faithfulness looks different for everyone, but our job is to run until the end — until you’re face to face with God and He gives you the prize of righteousness for being His faithful servant.
— Madison Thacker
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