The Struggles of Pressing On
It is amazing how much change is taking place each day of this new season. The leaves are turning quickly, and the forest is thinning out pressing on through the season. Trees cycle through this phenomenon every year as they transform themselves in the spring with bright gentle buds to the rich green leaves of their full summer glory. Then fall approaches and they give it their all with one last blast of magnificence creating coats of stunning reds, oranges, yellows, and the richest of browns before submitting to the barest of limbs for winter. Life is like that as well. There are bright new times, full glory times, last-ditch efforts, and dark times. It is through these life lessons that like the trees, we can keep pressing on because we hold on to the smallest signs of progress we have made as we journey forth in life.
Pressing on sounds like a struggle, but if we step back and look, it is just the simple act of moving forward. It isn’t always easy to continue on life’s path, but like it or not, the day and night keep revolving. When we are pressing forward towards what God has in store for us, it makes our journey much better. Our faith helps us be nicer and perhaps more joyful, but too often we allow it to work only on the edge of our lives. We recognize that it is there and give a little room for Jesus too. But when the Apostle Paul speaks of pressing on, he gives a more radical approach as he points out that everything the world considers important is just garbage. Perhaps we need to do more than just make space for a little Jesus if we want to keep pressing on successfully.
Slow but Steady Progress
If our goal as Christians is to know Christ, be like Christ, and be all He has in mind for us then we should not allow anything to keep us from our goal. This is where the pressing on and moving forward comes from. It is a process and not a quick transformation. We recognize that there will be times of spring goodness along with the fullness of summer. But it is also realized that there are dark winter times ahead even if we aren’t there now. This is why it is important to look beyond the world and hold onto the progress we have made. And we can’t do that with just a little Jesus.
There is much in the world that causes us to not want to press on, but instead, give in or up. This is why we must hold on tightly to the things that will both keep us pressing on and defining who we are as God’s people. Because if we don’t hold on tightly to Christ as we move forward, we will quickly lose our way in this crazy world or become mired up in the stench that it often puts out. If we give up our hope and our passion for Christ, we lose our ability to keep pressing on. A tree does not stop growing because the wind blew off its leaves, the author, Matshona Dhilwayo, points out. And like the trees we must hold onto the progress we have made and keep growing our faith holding fast so that we may press on. (Philippians 3:16)
Pressing On + Faith = Joy
There is joy found in our belief as we are pressing towards our goal. Because we hold onto our hope in Christ we can let go of the past, move beyond the tension of what we have been, and what we want to be, and look forward to what God will help us become. Through pressing on we can focus on our relationship with God and grow our knowledge of Him.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
As we press on to a life of faith and obedience, we realize that true forgiveness is ours. There is a life that is fuller and more meaningful because of our hope in Christ. This is why it is important to ask ourselves what is holding us back and then determine how we can put that thing to the side so we can move forward and keep pressing on. We must lay everything harmful away and get rid of anything that might distract us from being an effective Christian.
Pressing On through All of Life’s Seasons
We can press on while we hold on. Being not discouraged with our world but encouraged to press on to move towards a more just society, gain better ideas for our communities, all while making disciples of Christ transforming the world. For by holding fast to Christ the act of pressing on is the joy that it claims to be.
Won’t you challenge yourself to keep pressing on whether in the spring, summer, fall, or winter seasons of your life? Secure your conviction in the knowledge of His love and forgiveness of you that holds your precious goal. Find your motivation to press on and move forward because of the joy that is yours when you hold fast to Christ. Lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that the victory has already been won for you!
Love in Christ,
Whatever you’re facing today, keep going. Keep moving, keep hoping, keep pressing on. There is Victory on the other side!Mandy Hale
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you find it difficult to keep pressing on during the dark seasons of life? Have you experienced the joy of Christ that comes from holding fast to Him? Share your thoughts and experiences in your life on the joy that pressing on and moving forward in life can be when you hold tightly to the progress that Christ makes in you.