By Pastor Anthony L Scott
One of the most familiar tragedies in human life is a story of someone who has a great beginning and a poor ending. In fact, one of the parables Jesus told in the Gospel of Luke was about a man who started to build a tower but was unable to finish because he failed to count the cost.
Even in the arena of athletics I’ve noticed on many occasions that teams have well scripted plays for the first drive and in contrast appear to be in disarray in the two-minute drill. Joseph Fort Newton an attorney and minister once remarked that, “faith and trust are the powers which develop the hero in a man at the expense of the coward.” The qualities which make a good start possible are not identical with those that will help you see it through to the end. In short, Starting Power and Staying Power are not the same things.
We live in a generation that has emphatically stressed the Gospel of a good start. It is stated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, every child needs a good start, and there is much advertising focused on the grand opening of a new business. Not to undervalue the necessity of good starts but often this garners our attention at the expense of finishing well. Sadly, I was reading where someone compared life to a marriage by saying how beautiful love begins and how unhappy it ends.
The Power to See It Through is ultimately based or grounded in God. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (NIV) This staying power is associated with a certain central integrity of conscience. An indispensable ingredient of seeing it through is to come to grips that you may encounter many failures but you are not a failure. Whatever life may give or deny you, the power within rooted in the presence of God will enable you to overcome.
Staying power is likewise associated with being captured by a cause. We must all be gripped by someone or something greater than ourselves. Again, Philippians 3:12 states, “not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (NIV)
Another vital element of staying power is to see its connection with profound resources of inner strength. In Psalm 27:13, we see the words, “I had fainted, unless I had believed.” These words in the Bible are so true of life, unless our interior resources are replenished by faith in someone greater than us or our problems we will throw in the towel.
It is easy to quit when things get difficult. The Christian life is filled with many hard things. Trials come, doubts arise, and disappointments surface. Just remember what God has started in your life will come to full completion as long as we trust Him to carry it through. Pastor Marvin Winans has a song entitled, ‘I Feel Like Going On’. The first few lines are as follows, I feel like going on, I feel like going on, though trials they may come on every hand oh I feel like going on. In God You Have The Power to See It Through.