In 2 Timothy 4: 7-8, the Apostle Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Ellen White further emphasizes Paul’s assertions, comparing it to a Battle and a March: “The Christian life is a battle and a march. In this warfare there is no release; the effort must be continuous and persevering. It is by unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan… No one will be borne upward without stern, persevering effort in his own behalf. All must engage in this warfare for themselves; no one else can fight our battles.”
If all this sounds overwhelming, it certainly can look that way… but only if you’re trying to do it under your own horsepower. It is Jesus that gives us the will, the power, the guidance, the character, the strength, and the faith to finish the race. In Philippians 1:6, Paul said: “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
That is great news.
I can’t count the times that I knew I was failing in my own wisdom and strength, but then later realized when I surprisingly did finish, that it was Jesus was carrying me through the whole ordeal. That’s how we can count it all joy when an apparent brick wall appears in front of us… and somehow miraculously we come through it to the other side.
Paul summarizes in Hebrew 13:5: “Let your conduct be without covetousness: be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: ‘the Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me.”
Our strong tendency is to look at the physical realities warring against us head on horizontally. The key is to look up vertically to Jesus, and then the things of this world will appear strangely dim in comparison, and Jesus will open a door that you never knew was there. Jesus and his angels are a lot closer to us than we think, and they are all working tirelessly to make you victorious through your faith in our creator, savior, and strength.