Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” Paul’s immortal words were that he had finished well. He had endured until the end. May these words make an indelible mark upon our hearts. Oh, that we might finish well. There are endless ways to lose our way. The Bible is full of warnings. There seems to be endless examples of men who did not finish well. The common denominator for most failures is pride. We can become swallowed up by our own sense of entitlement.
Our attention is drawn to many of Israel’s kings who were
righteous men; the Bible records that they “did right in the sight of the
LORD.” But their pride was their downfall. King Asa reigned righteously but in
the end he turned his trust away from God. When confronted by one of God’s
prophets he became enraged and cast the prophet into prison. The last we read
of his otherwise excellent life was, "In the
thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was
severe, “yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians" (2Chron. 16:12).
Of Uzziah we read, "But
when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he
was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense" (2 Chron. 26:16). God punished him with leprosy and he
remained a leper to the end of his life.
Even the righteous reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah were
marred by the wretched curse of pride. As soon as we think we are immune to
this sin we are in our greatest danger. Peter stood boldly and announced, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away" (Mat. 26:33). That very night Peter betrayed
Our continued prayer must be, “Oh
God, help me to finish well. Help me to know my weakness and my great need of
your strength.” Paul knew his own weakness. God had taught him, "My
grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2 Cor.12:9). Paul admonishes us from the words of Jeremiah, "Let
him who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Cor. 1:31). May God grant us the grace to walk humbly before Him all the days of our life.