Day 17 | Press On
BY PASTOR JUSTIN WERVEN | BEULAH CAMPUS PASTOR
My sports career was never something to really brag about. In fact, one of my most memorable sports experiences was hurting myself running hurdles in 5th grade. I didn’t have any coaching and had never run hurdles before, so you can imagine how that went. It did, however, put a new light to the idea of running the race marked out for me.
Multiple times in Scripture, Paul uses athletic illustrations to make a spiritual point. Philippians 3:12-14 is one of those examples. Paul says, “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.”
The idea here is of an athlete exerting all his strength and pushing on with intense concentration in order to finish the race and win the prize. Paul’s prize was perfect union with Christ in heaven and eternal rewards. If anyone knew the cost of pressing towards a goal, Paul did. In 2 Corinthians 11 he goes into detail of the sufferings he experienced for pressing towards his goal in Christ Jesus.
Although Paul experienced many wonderful things with Jesus, he also experienced trials. These trials tested his faith. The truth is that many times the life God calls us to live comes with much sacrifice, trial and difficulty; but it’s always worth it. Considering all the difficulty Paul experienced, he was still able to say in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” He pressed on because the prize was worth the cost!
I think if we were honest with ourselves we’d asked this question, “Is all of what I’m experiencing worth the cost?” I want to encourage you and let you know that it is! It’s worth the cost. It’s worth the pain of fasting to see breakthrough and gain intimacy with Jesus. It’s worth my test of faith to see me come out stronger. At the end of time, when we stand before God, we will be judged and rewarded on what we did with our life. On that day, I want God to say, “Well done.” The glory and reward revealed to us in that moment will make the sufferings we experienced now seem small and insignificant. There is hope, press on!
Press on New Life, it’s going to be worth it!
Check out this song, it’s a couple years old but paints a wonderful picture.
Pastor Justin Werven