Finish Strong

 

To the end


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Written by ANDRÉE SEU

March 7, 9:06 AM


“. . . when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1).

The last three words caught my attention today: “to the end.” Jesus loved His own “to the end.” Jesus trusted the Father “to the end.” Jesus did only what the Father commanded and spoke only what the Father said to speak—and He did it “to the end.” There was no “growing weary in well doing” (Galatians 6:9).

On Friday (“Yet I Will Trust in You”) a commenter expressed understandable puzzlement over prayers that seem unanswered and received good encouragement from the brethren. Let us always hold one another’s arms heavenward like that, as Aaron and Hur did for Moses.

When we get weak in the knees and start verbalizing doubt is when Satan scores a victory. Blessed is the person who, in utter bafflement (over prayer requests he felt certain were to God’s glory but were not answered) continues to vocalize his trust in God. The vocalizing of it is very important, more than I had realized. This new defiant faith will feel downright strange in your mouth at first, if you are not in the habit of it.

God tells Israel to sing when she is barren (Isaiah 54:1). This is not because He is cruel, but because He knows something we don’t know—that our praise is the signal He waits for to release His grace more abundantly, particularly praise forthcoming when all hope seems lost (Romans 4:18). We are a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), and that means our warfare is of a peculiar kind that is only effective when worship goes ahead of us into battle. The restoration of the dominion of the children of God over the earth under Christ our Head is related to constancy in worship. Nothing advances without praise.

Some will throw in the towel almost immediately. Some will go a little further before giving up. Some, further still, under stiffer and stiffer temptation and increasingly sophisticated strategies of hell. Scripture says, “. . . we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” (Hebrews 3:6). It says, “Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35). As C.S. Lewis suggested in one of his Narnia books, up in heaven the air is clear, but down here the air gets thick; it is all the more necessary to hold onto “the signs” (i.e., God’s words, not man’s).

This life is a “race,” but not against each other (2 Corinthians 10:12; Romans 12:10). Satan throws obstacles onto the track—fatigue, sin bondages of various kinds, perplexity, and the suggestion that God does not answer prayer. Against all emotion, all suffering, all bad reports, Jesus loved and believed “to the end.” Now He bids us to do the same. And we are able. All things are possible to him who believes. We can do anything through Christ who strengthens us. Keep the faith.


http://online.worldmag.com/2011/03/07/to-the-end/

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