Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
As she trained for the marathon, there were days when she wanted to give up. She woke up before anyone else to have time to run. Soreness and injuries were always present to amplify her desire to quit. Even on the day of the race as the miles dragged on and her muscles screamed at her to quit. Only one thought kept her putting one foot in front of another: the finish is ahead. So, she continued through pain and adversity because the goal was in front of her. Every step brought her one step closer to victory.
For Christians, this life is like running a marathon. When this life gets hard, and the joys of heaven seem far away, it is important to press on toward the goal. When the days are long and dreary, and God’s promises of salvation seem like more of a dream than reality, looking ahead to the finish will help.
Looking back at your sins, disobedience, and failures won’t help. Turning around to see the emptiness of this world with all of its meaningless distractions doesn’t get you any closer to your goal. Focusing on the present pains and frustrations only hides the goal from your mind.
Press on because the finish line is ahead. The halls of heaven are in front of you. The prize which God has had in store for all who know his Son as their Savior awaits.
Only focusing your attention on the goal will help you continue. Press on.
Heavenly Father, help me to continue in the way you have laid out for me. Remind me always of the goal you have in store for me. Amen.