Often starting is not the hard part. The hard part is continuing to stand – pressing forward when everything in us is screaming for us to stop. It’s no cakewalk, but by God’s grace we stand firm to accomplish the work he has given us to do.
To be fair, the first step of faith can be difficult as well. It’s disruptive, to say the least, to give up our sense of control and trust in the wild goodness of God. The life of faith is a grand adventure few truly embrace.
All the same, many start with great zeal – but they’re quickly taken out when things get hard or they become otherwise distracted. They start the race but they don’t develop the endurance to finish.
For instance, this might be bailing on our marriage when we hit a few rough patches, or when we give priority elsewhere that we neglect cultivating our love for each other. This might also be playing it safe at work instead of enduring the intensity and risk of offering our unique gifts to the world. Likewise, this might be having a fair-weather faith – following God when it’s easy and we get to enjoy our creature comforts, but ready to turn our backs on him when things get hard. Or, perhaps more subtly, we let our fears cause us to grasp control of our life again rather than keeping our eyes fixed on God.
Whatever it looks like, in many ways, this is how evil works. While initially he might try to stop us from starting a good thing, the next tactic is to keep us from standing firm in the good God has called us to do. And so it becomes an act of faith to resist – staying focused and not giving up. We become a casualty of war when we do otherwise.
In the end, don’t give up when things get hard or let distractions take you out. Stand firm – unwavering in your commitment to bring the life and goodness God has called you to bring into the world.