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.
When was the last time you just wanted to give up and throw in the towel? Have you felt that way already two or three times today?
It’s easy to feel this way sometimes. Everyone gets to the point where they’re tempted to give up and call it a day.
Even Jesus felt the weight of the world on his shoulders as he faced the overwhelmingly burdensome task of winning perfect forgiveness and eternal salvation for all sinners. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, quoted the future Savior’s thoughts when he wrote, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all.”
But Jesus didn’t give up. He pressed on. And what compelled him to show the necessary resilience and to press on? His heavenly Father’s promises. Jesus remembered, “Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God” (Isaiah 49:4). Was it hard? You bet. But his Father’s reward gave him the strength to press on.
The apostle Paul was convinced of this reality, too–even in the midst of his own pain and imprisonment. In pondering the eternal reward guaranteed to him by Jesus, he wrote, “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.”
We can press on, too, no matter how hard it gets, because nothing we face in this world is worth comparing to the glorious and eternal reward that will be revealed to us at the end of life’s race in this dying world (Romans 8:18).
Jesus knows how hard it is, but his faithful promises give us the strength to press on.
Dear Jesus, help me remember that you know my pain so well. And remind me daily that I am more than a conqueror through you. Amen.