2 Timothy 4:6-7
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Paul at this point is ready to go home. He is nearing his end. And he looks back satisfied that he had done all he could do. He had been faithful to his Lord and obedient to the call that was given to him all those years before on the Damascus road. And now he could look forward to what the Lord had prepared for him. Paul had found it to be worth it, despite all the challenges he’d faced along the way.
Paul knows it’s not going to get any easier. He basically tells Timothy that the work of ministry has challenges and anyone preaching the true Gospel of Christ will face opposition. But Timothy had seen Paul go forth as a good soldier of Christ. He’d seen Paul run the race set before him with perseverance and patience. He saw how Paul trusted God with every step he took. And that is the way to end well. So Paul encourages Timothy to simply remain faithful to his Lord and his calling.
The way for us to end well is to stick with Jesus for the duration, to hold fast to His truth, to be obedient to His Word and His will for us. Paul laid out some of the challenges he knew Timothy would face. And we face those same kinds of things in our world today. Unbelief is rampant. Distortion of God’s Word is prevalent. Persecution of God’s people still happens today. And as proclaimers of God’s truth, we aren’t always going to be popular. But our faithfulness to God matters all the more in that kind of world. It is important to diligently follow Christ and stick to His narrow way.
We may not have reached the end of our course just yet, but we can evaluate where we stand right now. Are we diligent about following the Lord? Are we being obedient to what He’s given us to do? Will we be faithful to Him to the end? There are so many things that can pull us off course. There are so many things that can seem so important in the midst of life. There are so many ways to be distracted. But in the end, when we look back at how we lived our lives, won’t we want to be able to say what Paul did? So let’s not give up or give in, but may we continue on faithfully for our Lord.