Some Christians have lost their joy. They started off the Christian life with joy, but then something happened. They just lost interest in the things of God. They still do the things they should as a Christian, but they are just going through the motions. And they are not very happy about it.
Instead of saying like David did in Psalm 122:1, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the LORD,' " they would say, "I was mad
when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the LORD.' " Church again? Okay. All right. Another Bible study? Okay. Fine.
Paul told the elders of the Ephesian church that he wanted to finish his race with joy (see Acts 20:24). When you start a race, you don't always think about the finish, but you should. The finish is the most important part—not the start. You can have a bad start and still finish well. I don't care how great of a start you had. I don't care if you were leading the pack for nine laps out of ten. If you collapse and fall, then it doesn't matter. You are just tired, and it all was for nothing. Finishing is everything. And Paul was talking about finishing his race well, about finishing it with joy.
You don't know how long your life will last. That is why you want to run this race well and run it with joy. The objective is to finish.
Have you lost your joy in the Christian life? Then pray, like David, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit" (Psalm 55:12). Don't just start your race well. Finish it well. Finish it with joy.