When things get hard and we are tempted to quit, remember there is power in finishing the things we start. It’s easy to start something, but sometimes finishing it is what shows character. Goals provide us with a clear destination. A good example is from those who run long distance races.

The strategy Paul gives us is to focus on one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. The goal is to complete the race – finishing strong but at the same time taking one step at a time to get there! That is how winning takes place.

I am reminded of the journey of the children of Israel through the wilderness during the time they lacked water and complained against Moses and God. They kept referring to the past instead of focusing on what was ahead, the promised land! At one time when they desperately needed water, God directed Moses to speak to the rock. But Moses, out of frustration from the stubbornness of the people, struck it instead and missed God’s way! It is possible to do the right thing the wrong way when we are not fully listening! Does this sound familiar to you?
God made the Israelites victorious and provided food for them again and again, but they complained that the manna he had provided was horrible and the end result was punishment. But because God is merciful and gracious, once again he gave direction, provided healing and victory after they repented. Our God is so loving and relentless.

What an encouragement to us to keep instep with him to reach the goal set before us. We can count on His good grace daily even in challenging times! He will restore, support and strengthen us on our journey as we look to him.

*Lord, help me be a person of character to finish what you direct me to do, focusing on you. Enable me to trust you, and stay alert during difficult situations. Amen *

Today’s challenge: Consider a goal you thought of recently. Is this your goal or God’s goal for you? Remember that God’s plans for you are always for your good. As Jeremiah 29:11 says: ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’

Tags: Philippians 3