In this New Beginnings blog series we have been exploring what it means to get a fresh start when the circumstances in our lives are unlikely to change.
There are three essentials:
- Take inventory of the past
- Make a choice
- Eyes on the finish line
We’ve already examined the first two. In this post, we’ll look at the last one.
Where Are We Going?
When we talk about finding a fresh starting point, logically it means there is an endpoint. We need to have a firm grasp on where we’re going.
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) explains the frailty of life: “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
Pastor D.L. Moody stated, “We are not in the land of the living, going to the land of the dying. We are in the land of the dying, trying to get into the land of the living!”
God knows how many days He has planned for us here on earth, and each of us will have an appointment to see our Creator.
The Good News About Death
Death is simply a change of location, and it’s an instant change of location. So, I don’t fear death. My last breath here on earth leads to my first breath in eternity!
For the Christ-follower, death is a glorious homecoming. All will be made new! There will be no more crying, no more pain, no more sickness, no more suffering. The things that weigh us down will no longer be. The present brokenness we experience will be replaced with an abundant, everlasting life that will be far more than we can see, hear, think, or imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9).
When my circumstances threaten to pull me under, I reflect on Psalm 27:13-14. “I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord (NASB 1995).”
Run With Endurance
Hebrews 12 likens our lives to a race that’s set before us. We’re exhorted to run the race intentionally and lay aside those things that trip us up and hinder us.
I know there are many who are like me—extremely weary, with damaged hearts, weighed down with grief. How do we push through what remains of our earthly race, what remains of our shattered lives?
We keep our eyes focused on the finish line!
There is no doubt that we need to run with endurance. When I’m struggling, maybe even with the most basic desire to continue to live, I am reminded of the endurance Jesus demonstrated as He crossed His earthly finish line.
“…for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).”
Jesus endured SO much as He carried all the sins of the world upon Himself — hostility, physical torture on the cross, shame, rejection by His closest friends, death, separation from His heavenly Father. Yet the Bible says there was a joy set before Him.
What was that joy? It was the joy of offering the ultimate rescue plan to a fallen, sinful humanity—you and me. He longed to offer personal peace to a humanity that so desperately needed it.
Dear one, Jesus compassionately understands how desperately broken, needy, and helpless we are. He lovingly offers us Himself as a gift. It is a joy for Him to do so. It is our choice whether to accept this gift or not.
Be on Guard
I must add one warning. There’s a spiritual battle going on—one that you can’t see. The enemy of our souls has three ambitions: to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). His aim is to get your eyes off God and off the finish line. He has all kinds of tactics.
Know this—Satan wants to knock you off your horse. He doesn’t care what side of the horse you fall from, as long as he can disqualify you from the race.
Be on guard.
Remember that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He promises that He is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). When we draw near to Him, He promises to draw near to us (James 4:8). He encourages us to not grow weary and to not lose heart (Gal. 6:9).
A Fresh Start
None of us knows how many laps around the track we have left, so we must faithfully steward the time we are given.
As long as we have breath, God has purpose and meaningful things for us to do on this side of heaven. So let’s set our sights on that finish line on the track!
Where are you going? What are you trusting God for? From whom are you getting your directives?
Do you need a fresh start today?
Join with me in:
- Taking inventory of the past,
- Making intentional choices, and
- Keeping our eyes set on the finish line.
I leave you with this song by Jamie Kimmett – Prize Worth Fighting For:
Written by Shauna Caldwell