Press On and Thrive
Read Philippians 3:12-16
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained."
Why is it important to press on, especially when life is stressful? What helps us to press on?
Staying focused on God in stressful times is a vital part of our spiritual journey. World-class sports stars, such as tennis champion Venus Williams and gymnast Shannon Miller, who won the most gold medals ever and is from my hometown, have been the subject of research by scientists trying to determine why they win championships against athletes who have just as much talent and skill.
What is their secret? It's not just that they practice a lot or set aside distractions to hone their skills. So do other athletes. It is their ability to stay focused under stress. Their focus is a tennis championship, Olympic gold medal, yellow jersey, or grand slam in golf.
The Bible tells us the supreme prize is "the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Phil. 3:13-14 nlt). This verse tells us what our focus is to be--something more important than winning the Tour de France or gaining a world championship: knowing Jesus and following Him as He calls us from glory to glory.
Looking for God at every turn--and freshly encountering Him--keeps us focused on our purpose in life regardless of how rocky the journey is. Seeing and encountering Jesus isn't just something we "want"--like sprinkles on a doughnut--it's something we need, vital to a life of faith.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me the strength to press on when life is hard. Help me to keep my focus on You. Amen.