Endings

The graduation party. The big promotion. The skinny jeans. The dazzled guests. The “I do.” Every season, adventure, and project you begin has a pleasant conclusion that you find worthwhile, and if you can push past all of the difficulties, you wind up with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (or the medal at the end of the marathon, or… you get the point).

Finishing strong is a must for those who represent Christ. We push through, leave it all on the field, so to speak, and then celebrate big. This is the pattern of God’s people over and over in Scripture, and it will never be a bigger party than at the end of time. Talk about the grandest finale ever! So while we look forward to the final resolution to the groaning of all creation, may we display tiny foreshadowing pictures of it throughout the world.

We serve a God who loves to celebrate. It’s actually holy to enjoy what He is doing in and through us! So many believers sad-face (it’s now a verb, okay?) their way to heaven, but life doesn’t have to be like that. Throw a party! Be generous with your fun! Show the world that there is something—Someone—worth getting crazy about. Praise the Lord for His movement, even in the small things. Richard Foster closes his book Celebration of Discipline with the chapter, ‘The Discipline of Celebration,’ saying, “Celebration is at the heart of the way of Christ. He entered the world on a high note of jubilation . . . [and] left the world bequeathing His joy to the disciples.”

If you’re anything like me, you have a few (ahem) things that have been left undone, piling up over the years: half-read books, abandoned projects, untended relationships. Maybe it’s time we entered a season of bringing these bits of our lives to fruition, trusting God for His good work among us.

As we draw this series to a close, let’s celebrate some of the big finishers in the Bible:

Job (who endured an unthinkable season of bitter suffering)

And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning . . . And Job died, an old man, and full of days.

(Job 42:12a, 17)

Nehemiah (who finished the project of restoring God’s people to safety and dignity)

So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.

(Nehemiah 6:15-16)

Paul (who maintained his witness through incredible hardships)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

(2 Timothy 4:7)

Jesus (who lived a sinless life and died an excruciating death on our behalf)

When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

(John 19:30)

God the Father (who is already triumphant over our failings)

And 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.

(Philippians 1:6)

Friends, we can rest in the fact that God has named us “more than conquerors.” Our identity doesn’t come from how well we perform; it comes from the Person of Christ, and He cannot fail. May we fearlessly pursue finishing well.

Endings

Hard because

It takes so long to get there and can bring discomfort as you transition from the new normal to what’s next.

Easy because

This is what you’ve worked toward; it leaves you better than you were before you began.

Helpful because

God often calls us to be finishers, showing the world what His power in us can accomplish for His glory and our good.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 7:8)

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