How to Finish Well - Encouragement for Today - May 5, 2016

Nicki Koziarz

May 5, 2016

How to Finish Well

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)

Do you finish things well?

Me? Well, I start things off really strong but when things get hard, don’t go according to plan or become seemingly impossible, I tend to want to give up!

A few years ago my husband trained for months for his second marathon. His goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon — an elite goal for runners. But in order to qualify, he needed to maintain a very specific pace during the entire racecourse.

On race morning, my three girls and I headed to the finish line to show our support. We had posters, cowbells and pom-poms ready to cheer!

Throughout the morning I was anxiously looking at my watch, knowing his needed pace time and hoping he would make his goal.

But the qualifying pace time for Boston appeared on the clock and there was no sign of him. I was so worried about his feelings of disappointment; he had trained so hard.

About five minutes later we saw him turn the corner, wearing his bright orange shirt and an exhausted smile.

My girls and I became the loudest cheering squad at the marathon finish line. The last few yards of the race, we all got behind him and cheered him on as he crossed under the finish line banner.

Even though my husband didn't win or even meet his goal, he had accomplished something great. It was a powerful moment in his life.

He finished well.

In everything we do, whether we choose it or not, there is a finish point:

The day the last baby leaves the nest.
The moment we pack up our desk from a job.
The time we put a completed check mark next to a goal or a to-do.

But how we finish our seasons is important.

If we quit before it’s finished or run defeated to the finish line, we might miss the strength that awaits us.

Beneath the layers of fear when a season is ending, or not going according to our plans, is this thread of courage from our God. God sees our efforts and hard work in each season as He prepares us to move to the next.

But how we finish this assignment might determine our next assignment.

Our key verse offers each of us a little hope, a little determination, a little strength to keep going: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

You can overcome those temporary temptations to give in by the strength of God. Are you near a season of life that’s left you feeling discouraged? Do you want to just give up and move on?

If so, I totally understand what that’s like.

While it’s tempting to quit before it’s finished, today I want to encourage you to lean into the faithfulness of God and … finish well.

Is there a hard conversation you need to have? 
            God’s strength is with you.
Is there a physical weakness convincing you it’s over? 
            God’s strength is with you.
Is there a financial limitation numbing your belief to press on? 
            God’s strength is with you.

Every assignment or season God calls us to offers an eternal perspective. And sometimes I have a hard time remembering this through my temporary thoughts. But as I’m holding onto our verse, I’m reminding my soul there is restoration, confirmation and strength coming my way … if I don’t give up.

About a year later my husband gave the marathon another go. And guess what? He did it. He qualified for and eventually ran his dream race, the Boston Marathon. Maybe there’s not a marathon ahead of us, but there is something great.

Lord, thank You for providing Your strength when I feel weak. Help me finish this assignment well, as You prepare me for the next. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (NIV)

Acts 20:24, ”However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.“ (NIV)

Every woman will eventually face the temptation to give in and give up. But something transformative happens when a woman decides to persevere in the face of difficulty. Unfolding over 6 sessions, Nicki Koziarz walks women through the book of Ruth, in her new Bible study, A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.

We are celebrating the release of Nicki’s Bible study with Lifeway, A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit, by giving away five copies of the study today! Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, May 9}.

What would it look like for you to finish the season you are in right now well?

© 2016 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Thursday, 05 May 2016.