I love the phrase, “…the author and finisher of our faith…” in Hebrews 12:2. It’s talking about Jesus, of course. I like the way the NIV puts it,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of [our] faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV.
It’s like my faith ~ my story ~ is a book, and Jesus is its author. He’s the One who began my story, and He’s the One who will finish it, as it says in Philippians,
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~ Philippians 1:6, NLT.
I love the Bible. It always tells the truth. The verses I quoted above tell the truth about God’s activity in my life. And the cardinal truth can be found in this verse in Hebrews,
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, NLT.
Throughout my life ~ through all the abuse, all the times my mother tried to kill me, all the horrendous and terrible things my father did to me, all my suicide attempts, even during the period where I was enraged at God ~ through all of it, God was there, keeping me alive, shielding me from the worst of the abuse, and even protecting me from myself.
He’s never failed me, He’s never forsaken me, He’s never abandoned me, plus He’s given me beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, as it says in Isaiah,
To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. ~ Isaiah 61:3, NKJV.
God has given me so much beauty in my life! He’s been so incredibly good to me, and He continues to be so on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. The cross is the best, most beautiful gift He could ever give me. It’s the best demonstration of true love anyone could ever give to another person, as it says in the Gospel of John,
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:13, NLT.