I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness… (2 Timothy 4: 7)
The above scripture was part of Apostle Paul’s valedictory speech. He was about to depart this world for heaven. Having planted churches, wrote epistles, mentored leaders, lived a godly life, Apostle Paul felt accomplished and assured in his last moments. John Maxwell, in summarizing this scripture, said Paul saw life as a race to be won, a battle to be fought, and a trust to be kept. Paul gave life his best shot, and finished strong as a result. As this year is gradually terminating, we can still finish this year with a sense of accomplishment like Apostle Paul. Below are some things that can help us to finish 2014 strong:
1) Stay In Faith: The Message Bible defines faith as our handle on what we can’t see (Hebrews 11:1). It is simply holding on to God’s promises for our situations till they are delivered. Because the delivery date depends on God, often times than not, patience, endurance and perseverance are needed to obtain the promise (Hebrews 6:12). Delay with God is no denial. The Bible says God crowns the year with His goodness (Psalm 65:11), and the end of a thing is better than the beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). These two scriptures are sufficient reasons to still believe God that He will come through for us before 2014 ends.
2) Thanksgiving: Regardless of whether you feel God has been fair or unfair to you, everyone reading this still owes God tons of gratitude. Many of God’s best gifts are free with no price tag, and it is easy to take such things for granted. The reason why things are not worse than they are presently is because of the grace of God. Thanksgiving entails thanking God for the past, present and future. The will of God is that we be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thanksgiving is the receiving end of faith. Thanksgiving keeps us in that state of expectancy, hope, and rejoicing which moves God to act (Psalm 46:10).
3) Plan Prayerfully: A great part of finishing 2014 strongly is to start thinking ahead about 2015. Prayerful Preparations Prevents Poor Performance. A collaboration of the divine and humanity is necessary to have our dreams realized. It is in solitude and biblical meditation that we draw from God. We are also able to draw from our inner recesses and chart a course for 2015 as we take time in prayers, quietness and reflections (Proverbs 20:5). Someone said God is usually heard in the holy of holies and not in the noisy outer court. It is wisdom to take time out this month, have a date with yourself and reflect on the future.
4) Realize Your Location: The prodigal son, who went away from his father and squandered his inheritance through riotous living, was said to have come to his senses when he became hard pressed and seriously in need. He made a detour and went back home to his father (Luke 15:17). One crucial essence for chronological time is for us to be able to evaluate where we are in the journey of life (Psalm 90:12). As the year begins to end, make time to evaluate yourself vis-à-vis the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year. Did you attain all your goals? If not, how severely did you fall short? What are you going to do differently in 2015?
Conclusion: It is true that God reserves the best till the last. God can compound the elusive blessings in 2014 and deliver them in December 2014 as you join hands by cooperating with Him. Give the remaining part of this year your best shot.