7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Timothy 4)
Paul is so lucky; here he states that he HAS fought the good fight, he HAS finished the race, and he HAS kept the faith. He made it. He did it. He seized the prize.
In our lives, it sometimes seems like it's impossible to continue. In my life, definitely, there are days I try to think about what's going to happen to my family and I despair; there's nothing I can do to change things. I wonder if I can even go on. But it is not as if Paul's life was easier than mine or yours; it's not as if his life was a walk in the park. To get where he got, to finally arrive at his destination, Paul had extreme difficulties, to say the least.
We read these passages forgetting the long waits, the moments of darkness, the times of fear that Paul experienced. Yes, he suffered immensely, but we can skim over these parts in the Bible so quickly that we neglect to realize these events occurred over a sufficient time period. He knew what pain was. He knew what it meant to be lonely. He knew fear and agony and suffering. And he was only like us, a mere mortal. And yet, he DID IT! This should give us supreme hope, knowing that Paul was able to do it with God's help. Surely, we can do it also with God's help.