Acts 20:24 – “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
We are each running a course – a course we have never run before. It’s a course full of winding, climbing, soaring, and sometimes falling. There is no way to see the entire course. There is no way to know when the course ends. We call this course “life”, and to finish our course with the joy Paul speaks of, we must determine each day to live moment to moment with the “finish line” in mind. It is with that mindset that we can live each moment to it’s fullest, doing exactly what God created us to do – glorify Him with what we think, say, and do.
Every thought glorifying Him.
Every word glorifying Him.
Every action glorifying Him.
The only thing that can hinder you from finishing with joy is yourself. The only thing in the way is your way and not His way. If you focus on yourself, you will lose sight of the Cross. We often attempt to live this life relying on our feeble selves rather than depending on the Holy Spirit to work through us. Choose to live supernaturally. Let Him work through you. He wants to – depite your shortcomings, faults, and failures – He wants to use you!
So start every day with the decision to crucify your flesh… “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
I heard this quote my senior year of high school, and I have claimed it ever since. “Start every day with the purpose of proving that you love God far more than you love the things of this world or yourself.” I haven’t fully lived it. I do fall short, but it’s something I want to continually strive for.
Living for Him – to glorify Him – will lead you to a life of unfaltering joy. Whether through good times or bad, you will know that He is in control. With every path in this course that He leads you to, you can know it’s in His plan. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11 …and when you reach the end, knowing you remained unmoved despite the ever-changing circumstances of life, you can say “I have finished my course with joy.”