In multiple places in the scripture, the Bible compares the Christian journey to a race. However, there’s a more contemporary comparison that resonates with me: Steve Farrar’s analogy in his book “Finishing Strong.”

In his book, he compared the Christian journey to a boat race. The usual boat race is characterized by a group of rowers backing the finish line and facing a person called the coxswain. This person usually sits at the other end of the boot and can see the finish line. The coxswain serves as a coach of some sort, dictating the rowing rhythm, making navigation, and generally calling out encouragement.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

(Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)

Just as the rowers look to their coxswain for everything as pertains to that boating competition, it’s the same way we’re advised to look to Jesus, because He’s is the start, and the end. In the life of Jesus, we have a perfect example of what it means to live as a child of God in this dark world, and yet finish our journey of faith strong and victorious.

There’s a cross to bear and there’s the shame to suffer for being associated with the person of Jesus Christ. But because He has gone ahead of us, we also know that there is glory ahead! The Christian path may be difficult and narrow at times, but it is not an uncertain path. In the life of Jesus, and by the leading of the Spirit within, there’s direction available for us on how to build our lives according to pattern.

In his book, Steve Farrar also mentioned that those who have a higher chance of finishing strong, are those who anticipate ambushes and prepare for them: essentially those who employ foresight. There’s no challenge a believer has that is peculiar to such a believer. The circumstances may change a bit, but at the core of every temptation is a challenge that Jesus and/or the heroes of Faith must have faced in time past.

Ready yourself for the ambushes and traps ahead by studying the life of Jesus (and the examples of the clouds of witness surrounding you) and learn how He dealt with these situations. Familiarize yourself with God’s will for you by proper study of His Word.

Make Jesus your foresight. That’s how you finish strong.


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