Finish the Course

finish the courseAre you equipped today with your survival kit?

This journey we are on called “life” is filled with seemingly-impassable roads, unexpected detours and numerous obstacles. Fatigue and despair will slow us down. The challenges are too great at times, tempting us to quit. Are you using the Word of God to sustain you? It’s the survival kit you can utilize for every issue that arises!

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” These are Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:7. Paul’s desire was to endure, finish strong and be faithful as a follower of Jesus Christ. His comparison is one which we can all easily understand. The Christian life is often represented as race to be run. We might not all actually be trained marathon runners, but we can possess similar stamina on the mission assigned to us!

A few weeks ago, while cleaning out our attic, I came across a rather large military backpack. It was issued to my husband, Ted, in 1977, when he enlisted with the US Marine Corps. It’s called a “782 Gear” bag; a recruit would sign the standard USMC Form 782 when they took custody of and responsibility for their equipment.

The 782 bag was filled with all the essentials needed to sustain them while out on the field: canteen, first aid kit, food rations, flashlight, blanket, etc. They needed to be prepared for anything, but the goal was to survive. A Marine would never leave his 782 gear bag behind-it was crucial for his very existence.

Our spiritual lives are similar to this boot camp training and its survival tactics. God wants us to endure the hardships, conquer the enemies and ultimately, finish the course faithfully. We are not alone on this journey. God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to equip us for the oppositions and afflictions we face. All of the tools we need can be found in the Scriptures, providing us with strength, determination and purpose. If we are faithful and committed to finishing our course, God will bless us and reward us. I like to think that He is at the finish line, awaiting our arrival!

Philippians 4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” Jesus knows all about struggles-He endured the long, agonizing road to Calvary in order to accomplish His Father’s Will. He was beaten and bruised, spat upon, whipped and rejected as being the Son of God. He could have stopped, quit, refused to finish the course. Yet, His love for mankind was so great and His desire to fulfill His Father’s Plan of salvation exceeded the temporary pain and chastisement from the crowds. We can celebrate Jesus’ victory over death because He endured!

(Subsequent blogs will elaborate on the “equipment” in God’s Survival Kit!)