Forward to what lies ahead
Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
May your blessing be on your people! Psalm 3:8
Read Philippians 3:12—16
How can I press on to attain what I am powerless to bring about? Only God can raise me from the dead. Only God can bring about his kingdom. That is why I pray for it. But knowing that, Paul was ready to go without. He already belonged to the one he would meet face to face. He did not pin his hopes on fitting in the must-have holiday. His satisfaction did not require fully stocked shops or nightly entertainment. His reality was deeper, truer, more alluring, reviving and refreshing, more fully human and more ultimate, to the point that to live for it frequently meant willingness to suffer. And the suffering was not meaningless waste. The suffering itself became enriching because it was sharing fundamentally with Christ. So for me the question is: do I so live for the promised future with Christ that I am ready for the suffering that goes with it in the meantime?
Lord, when I know I belong to you now, I know I will meet you glorified. I am the companion of the apostle Paul. He knew your promise. He looked forward. He expected resurrection. He disregarded the painful consequence of being true to Jesus and of speaking of Jesus. He had no thought of missing out on the glory of knowing you in your fullness, and so he suffered at the hands of those who were opposed to you. Please transform my present situation. Let your future promise break in. May I find this glad surrender, this joy, this hope, the heavenly call of Christ that makes my tomorrow a day for gritty, determined and gracious obedience.