walk in the word
Reassurance of Faith, Your Walk With God
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
One of the darkest places in my Christian experience is the grief I feel over Christians who quit—especially leaders I know who used to be in the race and stretching for the tape with their whole hearts. What happened and why did they pack it in?
I’ve heard it said that this crisis of faith reveals something that has been happening for a long time. In the case of awol Christians, I believe that is true. We tend to focus on the shock of the tire blowing out, but in reality there were a lot of maintenance issues that preceded the flashing lights and flares by the side of the highway. Somewhere, much earlier on, they lost their longing for God.
I must confess the fear of following in their footsteps sometimes haunts me. It should you, too. We don’t want to crawl across the finish line a defeated, derailed Christian or worse—give up the race before life is over, do we? No, we want to break that tape with arms high and our face toward the sun and say with the apostle Paul, “I have finished the course; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 3:7).
So get in the habit of doing a maintenance check. There is in every human heart a pattern “to leave the God we love” and we know it. Therefore we must counter that natural bent with a pattern of faith.
That’s one reason I love to be around men and women who have pressed hard after God for half a century or more. Through their discipline of faith they have developed an unshakable “God confidence” that grows stronger year after year. It doesn’t mean they haven’t seen their share of heartache or trouble but ask them about God’s faithfulness and you’ll hear them speak out of a heart that continues to delight and long after Him.
Do you know any marathon believers like this? Ask them to share their journeys of faith with you. Really listen as they give an account of the hope and faith that drives them. Thank them for faithfulness. We all need this kind of refreshment to stay on track.
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