A friend of ours is an Air Force pilot, having done his training at the Academy. His love of flying began when he was young, and early on, he sought out advice from my pilot husband as to how best to pursue a career in flying. Without hesitation, my husband encouraged him to try for the Air Force Academy.
When only in the sixth grade, he started pursing that goal. Several years later, he graduated alongside others of our nation’s elite military. He dreamed a dream, and then stuck it out to completion.
The Struggle to Finish What We Begin
Few individuals stick with something these days. The problem is not with their dreams; it is with their tenacity to finish. This lack of follow-through is increasingly prevalent in our younger generation, but is also common to plenty of others.
For example, kids show initial interest or ability in an area, only to drop out when the drudgery of ongoing practicing occurs. A person commits to service in ministry, but then quits after only a few times of having to give up a weekend.
The Results of Not Finishing What We Begin
Those are obvious examples. It is more insidious, though, when lack of follow through involves relationships. This is seen in the workplace as high employee turnover rates, because it easier for some to job-hop than to resolve interpersonal difficulties. It is evident when a couple starts out a marriage madly in love, only to forsake their commitment at the first hint of a problem.
Sadly, the discipline of finishing is increasingly a dismissed notion, and the consequences of not is ruining our world. The ruin results because individuals who cannot follow through on a commitment cannot be fully trusted. Their word stands for nothing. At varying levels, though, we all struggle with this issue.
God Can Be Trusted to Finish What He Begins
Unlike us, God is trustworthy to His word and is a finisher. We can trust in His promises, since they will never fail. Because Jesus finished what He came to do, by dying on the cross to pay the penalty we deserved for sin, we now have the promise of completion in Him.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
What comfort and hope it brings knowing that God is not finished with us. We may have messed up so badly that we think there is no repairing of the damage. However, God promises that when we surrender to Him, by accepting the gracious gift of His salvation, He starts a new work in our lives. From that point on, He instigates a finishing work in us, one where He gradually perfects through a process called sanctification.
Very few individuals have what it takes to successfully enroll and graduate from a military academy. However, God has the power to equip us as finishers. Knowing this is an encouragement to those of us who often struggle with keeping commitments. No matter how often we mess up or want to quit, God is not done with us. God finishes all that He begins.