This past Sunday I shared a message from Philippians 3:13 where Paul said, “Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
The words “reaching forward” simply mean “press on.” What Paul was telling the Christians at Philippi was simply “keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t give up — “Press On!”
In 1952, a really great swimmer by the name of Florence Chadwick made an attempt to set a record by swimming 26 miles from the coast of California to Catalina Island. After about 15 hours of swimming, a dense fog set in and blocked her view of the shoreline ahead of her. Becoming disoriented, she had to give up. Afterwards, she learned that she was only about a mile short of her goal.
Not one to give up, two months later she made another attempt at the swim. And once again, a thick fog settled in, but this time she was able to reach her destination, becoming the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel. When asked what the difference was on her second attempt, she replied, “I kept the image of the shoreline in my mind, even when I couldn’t see it.”
There are times in our lives, when we cannot see what lies ahead. It might relate to school, our jobs, family, finances or numerous other things that life deals to us. I call these trying times the “Storms of Life.” Everyone has been through or will go through a “Storm of Life.”
The doctor tells you, “There’s nothing more we can do.” Your boss hands you the pink slip and says that the company is downsizing and your position is being eliminated. You studied really hard for a test in school or college and wind up getting a “D” or an “F.” That “special someone” tells you they don’t want to date any longer they just want to “be friends.” There’s trouble in your family, there’s more month left than money. Nothing you do seems to work out right. These are all considered part of the “Storms of Life.” What do we do now? We “Press On!” We put one foot in front of the other and we “Press On!”
See, when the “Storms of Life” cloud our vision, we have an opportunity to see the goal(s) in front of us by using “eyes of faith.” In other words, we trust the Lord. We fix our eyes upon Him and we trust Him to lead us. When we can’t see the path ahead, or we don’t know which direction to go, or we have lost our way, we seek the face of Jesus, we listen to hear His voice, we take hold of His hand and we “Press On!”
The Bible says that Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. That means that our faith begins with Him and one day, our faith will end with Him. So when we feel like giving up, when we feel like quitting, remember, that even though we “walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death” Jesus is right there with us. His promise to us is that He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us. And right now, He is there to help us endure those “Storms of Life” until the day we see Him face to face.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
By the way, if you are on Facebook, you can watch our service “live” on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply “like” our Facebook page and watch.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.
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