the Finisher of our Faith

Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,  2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We learned that Jesus is the Author of our belief, but it is also important to recognize that He is the Finisher of our faith also. Or, the One who brings our faith to maturity and perfection. In Philippians 1:6 Paul and Timothy write to the church at Philippi 6And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. How wonderful it is to know that once Christ begins to work in us, He won’t stop until the day He returns. In every situation we go through in life God is with us, helping us, molding us, and perfecting our godly character. We must look to Him knowing that he desires us to be complete and whole, lacking nothing, and without error, flaws or faults. When we think of God in this way it enables us to continue on in our race- even when we want to quit, even when it’s not easy, even when it seems effortless, no matter what stage of the race we are in. Because if we know that He wants nothing more than for us to complete the course He has set out for us, we know that we can count on Him to guide us and lead us in the right direction.

How often though do we choose to do things our own way? The other day I was changing my two year old’s clothes, but she didn’t want me to help her. She kept saying. “I do it myself, I do it myself.” I tried to gently show her how to take off her shirt, but she did not want any guidance from me. She was getting so frustrated trying to take her arms out of the sleeves and just kept getting them all twisted up. Even though she was frustrated, she was still adamant that I not help her in any way. I thought to myself, “If she would just do this the way I show her, we would save ourselves a lot of time and aggravation.” Then I thought this must be how God feels. He knows the way we should do things, but we are unwilling to accept His guidance and so just get frustrated, and waste time and effort. I encourage you today-  Look to Jesus as being the perfector of your faith and allow Him to teach you the lessons you need to learn in order to finish your race.

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