“In his justice he will punish those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels.” — 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Pulling up short. Quitting. Throwing in the towel. Giving up. Walking away. Whether or not we admit it, all of us have wanted to do these things. We know what God has called us to do, but after facing one trial or setback after another, we begin to wonder if we can carry on and finish.
The apostle Paul faced opposition, persecution, and trials unlike anything most of us will ever face. And what did he do about it? Read on:
— “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.” (Romans 8:18)
— “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
— “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, every thing else is worthless compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)
— “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all that I should be, but I am focusing my energies all on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
Do you see a pattern here? Paul didn’t look at the task. He didn’t look at the work. He didn’t look at the suffering and trials. Instead, he looked beyond what was happening in his present life and focused on what was ahead: the finish line God had put in front of him.
Hebrews says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. (12:2) Jesus is our finishing line. We must keep our focus and our eyes on Him! It is too soon to quit.
Time is short and we are on the “bell lap.” Don’t be conned into giving up when we are so close!