Links Daily Devotional

A Faith that Lasts

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV)

It has been fun to watch all the big tournaments this year. Most of these battles have given us an unexpected winner over a field full of fierce competitors. I always wonder why certain players finally win a major championship when they have been perhaps just as talented yet not won before.

We can’t lose this race if we never lose sight of the goal.It seems that every really successful golfer has a singular focus on winning—a focus on the goal to win the tournament with the lowest score they can possibly make. The truly great golfer wins because their focus is on the goal and not the adversity they might face. The one who wins is the one willing to persevere even when their hard work is not rewarded by immediate success. The truly great ones seem to have a greater ability to stick it out when things don’t go their way.

Both Jimmy Walker and Ariya Jutanugarn captured their first majors this past weekend after waiting their turn to emerge. Jutanugarn, though just 20, had let good chances to win at the season’s first two majors slip through her fingers. Walker’s road to a major victory has been much longer. His first 187 Tour starts produced no wins; his last 71 have brought six wins, including the PGA Championship. These two players provide wonderful pictures of focus and determination.

In the same way, we need a singular focus on God’s goal for our life. We can easily be distracted by difficult circumstances, unfair treatment, and just plain “bad luck.” But we are called to a greater purpose. God calls us to fight the fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

What should be the focus of our life as a believer in Christ? What is it that God wants from us anyway? God wants us to fulfill his plan for our life. Our singular focus should be on him and what is pleasing to him. He has redeemed us at a great cost to himself. He is waiting to see just what we will decide to do about that. Will we take our great salvation and his great sacrifice for us for granted and continue to live our life for our own purposes or will we fall down in awe of the Creator who has made us, loved us, saved us, and given us a purpose for our existence?

I want my focus to be on living the kind of life that pleases God. I know that I am completely incapable of achieving that goal in my own strength. I also know that I don’t have to. The same God who saves us empowers us. He remakes us as we allow the Holy Spirit to have more and more control of our life. He changes us from the inside out into what he has always wanted us to be. He uses everything in our life to achieve that singular purpose. He works to perfect us all the days of our life. If our focus is on him, we will see change in our life. We will see love, and joy and peace flow out of us into the world around us. We will by extension be him in the world. That should be our singular focus. We can’t lose this race if we never lose sight of the goal. We can’t win without him. Our reward will be the trophy of his words pronounced over us on that great day when we stand in his presence: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That’s enough for me.

Linda Ballard
August 4, 2016
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