Its February 4th. Yes it is true, I made sure to double check. January 2015 has (already) faded into the past and given way to the shortest month of the year. Where is time going? Wasn’t this just yesterday?
New Year’s Eve.
One month into the new year, how are you feeling about 2015? Either because 2014 was a pretty stinky year or because 2015 teemed with possibility, it seemed that many people were looking forward to the “promise” the new year held. For many, statistics say about 45% of people, the turn of a calendar year means making New Year’s resolutions. Yet only 8% of people are successful in achieving their goals.
Plenty of people ponder a guess as to why this happens, from setting unrealistic goals, a lack of planning, poor support systems, to a lack of will-power. Resolutions seek to facilitate change and change is difficult! We know where we’d like to be but getting there is the tough part.
I’ve memorized Philippians 3:14 as a source of encouragement for the tough times. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” A great reminder to persevere with the end in mind!
I can focus so much on that singular verse that in my tunnel vision I lose sight of the greater context. Back up a few verses and Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal…” And that, that is something I also need to remember. Because, sometimes, it seems that for all the time that has passed I am no closer to where I should be in my walk of faith. “Won’t I ever stop struggling with… Why is it still so hard to do…. Why does it seem I am no closer to… Will I every have answers to… How am I ever going to…” Thoughts like this are enough to discourage my heart, batter my mind and crush my spirit.
When I hear Paul’s honesty to say that he had not yet achieved all the things he knew to be true, that he wasn’t yet perfect in his walk BUT he pressed on… I am encouraged. Paul didn’t have a “been there, done that kind of attitude.” He was “in the trenches” too AND he pressed on! Why? Because his goal was more than his alone.
Here is something to hold on to: I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
What we are striving for, what we are struggling to achieve, what we press on towards… it is Christ. In the ESV it says, “but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
Christ made me his own.
For all the words I’ve tried to type after that… none fit… that sentence says more than I ever could. Let God work this truth for His good in you today.
[Life sure gets tough and my heart goes out to those of you struggling today, whatever the struggle. There are times when the fight seems more than we can bear. While I don’t know the specifics of what you are facing, I know what its like to be drowning in struggles or wandering without being able to see the goal any longer. And in those times words were of little comfort to me. I wrote this because you are not alone. We are not alone. God walks with us… even when we don’t feel it… even when we don’t understand it… even when we aren’t sure of the truth… God is with you. God loves you. I am praying for His strength, for His peace, for His purpose, for His guidance, for His comfort and love to envelop you.]