30th December 2016

Strong to the End 

He will keep you strong to the end”
1 Corinthians 1:8 (NLT)

When I was growing up my family would sing songs on New Year’s Eve. Often they were nostalgic songs about looking back with mixed feelings of sadness and joy, but also there would be songs about going forward into the next year with determined resolution.

One song I remember was called Keep Right on to the End of the Road. It’s about not giving up despite the many obstacles that might come our way. “Though you’re tired and weary”, the words go, “still journey on”. It is a stirring tune with a marching beat, and we used to sing it with gusto.

Of course, when it comes to the Christian life and the new year ahead of us, let’s be strong and keep the faith no matter what. Paul, however, tells the Corinthians that it’s not about how strong we are but it’s about how Jesus keeps us strong even when we are weak. It was difficult for the Corinthian Christians to persevere in the pagan world in which they lived. Their society was steeped in strange beliefs, and very few cared about the Christian message. Had they trusted on their own strength alone, they would have been in for much disappointment. Paul explains to them then, as he does to us now many centuries later, that Jesus gives us his strength to help us endure. The way forward is to depend on Jesus.

As we contemplate 2017 we don’t know what blessings and problems will come our way. Let’s count the blessings, and, when difficulties arise, let’s persevere and rely on the strength of Jesus Christ.

In 2017 let Jesus keep us strong to the end. 

Father of Comfort, thank you that your son, Jesus, keeps us strong in you, and we pray that, with the help of your Spirit, we will depend on him and on his strength now and throughout the coming year. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


About the Author: ancientbible
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

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