Sometimes, the faith journey can feel like a sprint, while other times, it can feel like a marathon. Regardless of what it feels like, the necessity of pressing on stays the same.
The idea of pressing on has been somewhat of a theme in this season.
If I had given up on getting back to kinda who I was, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Pressing on has been challenging-oh so hard-at times, but all the tears and tantrums have been worth it to see how far I’ve come.
Don’t think that this is just me wanting recognition or a pat on the back, but the example is meant to show you the value of pressing on.
I’m not a runner but that’s another example that will resonate with people.
How does one run a marathon?
You have to persevere-keep going-when your muscles hurt. You can’t give up the moment things get tough.
The same is true with faith. It’s easy to trust God when things are going well. Life is all butterflies and roses. But what about when your plans get derailed. You get an unexpected call from the doctor, or you lose your job. Life seems to be more thorns and wilderness. God seems so far away but in reality, we’re the ones who have moved, not Him.
Will you keep trusting God even when it doesn’t look like anything is happening?
Paul is a great example of that. Life was good, and it was horrible-he was beaten and imprisoned. It ebbed and flowed between being good and bad, but throughout he remained close to God. He was honest about where he was, but he never truly blamed God for his suffering. He writes in Philippians 3: 12-15;
“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.”
That shocks me because he had every reason to be upset at God. True, God didn’t ever cause suffering, but the suffering was because of God. But he never blamed God. In fact, he counts it kinda an honor-he rejoiced in it.
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”
Because I was curious about what the word perseverance and phase press on actually meant, I looked them up.
persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Press on/ahead (phrasal verb with press)
to start or continue doing something in a determined way, often despite problems
Both words/phrases hint to continuing despite problems and hardships. It’s the idea that problems will happen, but we need to be determined in continuing despite.
So here’s a couple tips to help you press on when you feel like giving up on Jesus:
- Recall past persevering accomplishments.
Remember the times when your perseverance paid off. Allow those memories to motivate you when times get tough.
- Celebrate victories (even small ones).
When you are in the midst of troubles or hard times, it’s easy to get discouraged. Celebrate victories. Even small one’s matter. I remember when I walked down the stairs for the first time in a long time without holding onto a handrail. It was a small thing, but I threw my arms up in a victory stance. Luckily, I was in a stairwell with no one in it, or people would have given me weird looks. Celebrate the moments where you get into the Word or listen to godly podcasts. They might seem like a small thing, but sometimes you just need a win.
- Take a step-just one.
Sometimes, the big picture is so intimidating that you are frozen in place. In order to move, you need to just focus on taking on step at a time-on breathe at a time.
- Just keep going (even if it’s only in your mind).
Sometimes, half the battle is in your hard. My brother always says “Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both right”. Half of the battle is what you tell yourself. If you tell yourself you can’t do this or to give up, then you won’t get there. But if you tell yourself that you’ll eventually get there even though it’s hard, then you’ll get there eventually.