Have you been through loss, hardship, or tragedy that has threatened to paralyze you? Are you ready now to find your resilience and bounce back? The key is learning to press on in life regardless of your adverse circumstances.
In today’s first passage—Philippians 4:11-12—Paul lets us in on his secret of dealing with the reality of loss: he has learned to be content regardless of circumstances. This is a penetrating statement. It tells me the brash tenacity it takes to press on despite trauma or difficulty in life is not something you are born with but rather something you learn. Pressing on regardless of his circumstances had nothing to do with Paul’s personality but was a part of his character, learned over time through his relationship with Christ.
This is great news because the belief that people are resilient by nature is simply not true. Rather, the rebounding spirit is available for everyone!
In the second passage—Philippians 3:13-14—Paul tells us he disregards the failures and mistakes of his past, forgetting what is behind and pressing on. He is saying, “Whatever happened to you yesterday, whatever loss you endured, press on regardless.” The word translated “press” in Greek is dioko, and it means “to pursue by speeding on earnestly.” The word translated “goal” or “mark” in Greek is skopos.
Paul is using athletic terms from the Olympic games. As the runners raced they “pressed on” by speeding earnestly toward the skopos, the rectangular pillar at the far end of the Roman coliseum. They focused their eyes on the skopos rather than turning their heads and looking behind in order to see if they were winning or losing. The runners were trained to focus on the skopos and press on regardless of their status in the race. Paul’s skopos was God’s call upon his life, his personal destiny.
My prayer for you is that by the end of this week of devotionals you will learn Paul’s secret of bouncing back from life’s perils and pitfalls and focus your eyes once again on the skopos, reaching your personal God-ordained destiny. Paul learned how to press on regardless, and so can you!
Thank you for taking this journey with me and learning the joys of bouncing back.
Where do you think God is calling you on the other side of your disappointment or loss?