“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
Here’s the context of today’s verse: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (vs. 6-8).
Paul was nearing the end of his earthly life and ministry when he wrote this, and he knew he wasn’t going to die of old age but would soon to be martyred for following Jesus. His simple summary of his life’s work is powerful and inspiring.
He had “fought the good fight.” Battling through obstacles of all kinds, he stood firm in his Christian testimony. And now he was about to “finish the race.” Think marathon here. No runner wants to see DNF (did not finish) next to his name. Finishing is often the number one goal. Paul had run the race (i.e., lived out his faith) with perseverance, fixing his eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). He was about to finish and finish strong.
Moreover, through all of the challenges of life he had “kept the faith.” Paul had not only lived out his Christian faith, he had also taught the doctrines of the faith to others who would also pass them on as well.
Paul knew death was not the end, but merely the “finish line” for his earthly work. Because he had fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith he was looking forward to confidently stepping through death into life eternal with his Lord who would award to him “the crown of righteousness.” May we follow Paul’s example.
Question: Are you fighting the good fight, running with perseverance, and keeping the faith?
Challenge: Study Paul’s life and follow his example.
Prayer: Lord, help us to live for you and finish strong as Paul did.
Dan Kinnaman, Chapel Leader -- Norwich Sea Unicorns