Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
–Galatians 6:9

Do you remember the best-selling book “Die Broke”? It offers a unique perspective about finances. The book suggests that the best way to die is with absolutely zero dollars in your bank account. In other words, spend everything you have while you are alive. That is the American dream, isn’t it? Spend everything you have, and die with your Visa card charged to the max.

But as one gifted writer said, many senior adults are not only dying broke; they are dying broken. What should have been their golden years have become tarnished. Instead of being optimistic about the future, they are increasingly pessimistic. You see that pessimism in their attitude toward their families, toward their friends, sometimes even toward their church. Instead of being hopeful, they become fatalistic. And their final years are marked by sadness, by depression, by bitterness. Do you know people like that? I certainly do, and I certainly do not want to become like them. Instead, I want to end this life like Abraham, who finished strong.

Abraham exemplified the one quality God wants your life to be marked by more than any other: faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Abraham was not only a model of faith, but he was also a model of what I call “bullishness.” Merrill Lynch had a commercial years ago that said, “Merrill Lynch is bullish on America.” That word “bullish” means “optimistic.” And that was Abraham’s attitude toward life: no pessimism, no bitterness. Abraham’s life was spent with a bullish, optimistic attitude to the very end.

Let me paint the scene for you: Abraham was past 125 years of age. His wife, Sarah, had died, and his son Isaac was married and had his own family. So here was Abraham at the end of his life, all alone, his family gone, wealthier than he has ever been, and with the full assurance that God has been pleased with his life of faithfulness.

Now, if you were in that position, how would you spend the final years of your life? Would you move to Florida? Spend the rest of your life chasing a golf ball around a green? Sit in your rocking chair reminiscing about the good old days and wondering why nobody comes to see you? That was not Abraham. When you read about the final years of his life, you find he was optimistic about the future. He wanted to seize, utilize, maximize every moment of life God gave him, until the very end.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Finishing Strong” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org