In my bible reading plan I’m encountering the up and down reigns of all the kings of Israel and Judah. It’s pretty discouraging history. The majority of these kings “did evil in the eyes of the LORD” all the days of their lives. But even the ones who are described as kings who “did what was right in the sight of the LORD” they all seem to turn away from God in their old age and trust in idols instead.
I find myself asking, “Doesn’t anyone finish well?”
And then that thought can easily spiral me and my personality into a session of anxiety over my destiny.
You see, I’m naturally a big optimist for everyone else. But I’m a giant pessimist for myself. Your glass is half full–while mine is nearly gone. I believe everything is going to work out awesome for you. But I’m pretty sure I could cause everything to collapse around me any minute. I’ll just be sitting over here waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Is there any hope of finishing well for someone like me?
The answer to that question is found in the beautiful doctrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
We have been given the Spirit as a seal and a deposit guaranteeing our salvation. No one can snatch us out of our Father’s hand (not even you or me). He will complete His good work in us. He never leaves, never forsakes us. Our faithful finishing well is a gift of grace: irrevocable, eternal, and promised. We will persevere to the end.
It’s times like these that I am so glad that my personality doesn’t define my identity.
Because my identity–and your identity if you are in Christ–is secure.
On the hard days, this is simply a mystery to be believed by faith and trusted. Trusted when you’re tempted to catastrophize or spiral into fear and despair. The difference between you and some ancient king of Judah, is that the third person of the Holy Trinity animates and empowers you. Sanctifies and keeps you. Forever.
May we believe and find encouragement in this blessed miracle.
Have a great summer and remember:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).