Thursday, August 1, 2013

Faith to Finish Well

This summer our church has been studying the heroes of the faith – ordinary men and women God used to accomplish extraordinary things.  The men and women listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews were not perfect but, like us, were flawed individuals who made sinful choices that could easily have disqualified them from His service.

God desires that we live holy and perfect lives (Matthew 5:48; 1 Thessalonians 4:7), yet He knows it is humanly impossible. That is why we need God and the grace He promises to those who believe.  It is only by His grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8) and that He can work through us to reach our generation with the message of hope and salvation.

Living a life of faith is no easy task.  The trappings and temptations of this world, together with our natural human tendency to live for ourselves instead of others, makes it nearly impossible to nurture and reflect the God-nature that we are to exhibit as His children. Yet, we know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  Many of us believe that choosing God’s ways over our own will result in lives that are dull, boring, and restricted.  But nothing could be farther from the truth (Galatians 5:1)!   Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).  A surrendered life is one of abundance and adventure!

In a recent message, Pastor Ky Faciane said, “Hard times are the testing ground of our faith.”  As any athlete can attest, strength and endurance come only when we exercise and train our minds and bodies.  The same is true of faith.  Our faith grows when our spiritual muscles are put to the test by the challenges we face each day.  If we are to finish well, no matter how poorly we start in life or how far off-course we run the race, it will take faith to sustain us and carry us to the finish line.

How can we develop the kind of faith that finishes well?  It isn’t enough to “be religious” by going to church, praying, and reading the Bible.  In order to develop a finishing faith, we need to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, the One who saves us by the very faith we need to run the race before us.  As we surrender our lives and enjoy intimate fellowship with Jesus, He will increase our faith, teach us His ways, and give us the strength to persevere and finish well, even when the going gets tough.

Published 8/1/2013 in The Collierville Herald

Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


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