When Paul said ‘I press on toward the goal’, he knew that he still had a way to go. His eyes were fixed on Jesus and the prize of eternal life, and no matter what was being thrown at him, he was determined to keep moving closer to the goal. We need to have the same ‘press on’ spirit too. Pressing on means starting or continuing something, even when problems are arising. Jesus never promised that life would be easy. And even when our goals are great things like knowing Him more or becoming more like Him, we’re not promised an easy ride. Trials and struggles can come at us from all directions. And if we’re not prepared for them, we can find ourselves losing sight of our goal and wanting to give up. But the Bible says: ‘Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him’ (James 1:12 NIV). Perseverance, or pressing on, is vital if we’re going to make it through and live for God. So how can we help ourselves to press on? We need to be practising spiritual disciplines – they’re things like reading our Bibles, praying, listening to teaching, and spending time in silence – so that we’re strong and resilient when tough situations come our way. We’re reminded to ‘Exercise daily in God…Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever’ (1 Timothy 4:7-8 MSG). And a life like that will help us press on towards our goal, no matter what.
Do some kind of exercise today. When you reach a point where it’s getting hard to keep going, ask God to help you be able to press on towards your goals, even when things get tough.