And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
The fourth quarter is not like every other quarter. It is simply a different intensity with greater risk and reward. You play the first three quarters with great energy and then comes the fourth that demands even more concentration, strength, and determination. Starting the game is easier than finishing. The starting blocks do not present the same challenge as the meters leading to the finish line.
There is some truth to the difficulties of finishing well in life as well. New temptations and challenges arise as you move through life. It is almost a certainty that the life of a college student is more complicated and has more challenges than that of a high school student. Even though we think that middle school years are some of the most difficult, the reality is that the challenges are limited--they are just amplified by unfamiliarity.
One of the most encouraging and hopeful parts of Philippians 1:6 is the recognition that we do not have to finish alone. The faith walk begins as God draws us to Himself. The work is started by God and we join Him in what He is doing. He remains active throughout our lives and is dedicated to completing his work in us.
This should be a tremendously freeing reality. If God is working in us and we are assured that He will complete that work, our responsibility is to join Him, make ourselves available to Him, and focus on His glory over our own. If the completion is certain, we can have a confidence in God as we move through our day to day decisions. Even as life grows in complications and challenges, we are assured of the completion of the work by God--and nobody is stopping Him.
When you enter the fourth quarter of a game, you rely on the preparation and determination as you engage in the game with greater intensity. Do you realize that as you go through your life that you can rely on the preparation, determination, and intensity of the King of the Universe who is at work in you? Ask God how He intends you partner with Him as He does His work in you. Ask God to show you what He is doing and how He is preparing you. Live with the confidence that comes with partnership with the King and see what He accomplishes in you.