This has been a really rough nine months for most people. I believe God has a purpose for the struggles we endure. I think the most important thing he has taught me during this challenging time is to keep my eyes focused on the prize: GOD! It is so easy for me to get all worked up about everything going on in the world that I become very negative and lose sight of what is most important. Luckily, I have a wonderful mentor who gently steers my focus back to God when I am off track.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
So how do we press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize? We keep our eyes fixed on God. We trust him, especially during the difficult times. We remember his love, faithfulness, and mercy.
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
God is so faithful, and he loves us so much! He has a great plan for our lives. We all need to remember that the best is yet to come.
It’s important to look for his blessings during the difficult times. I remember driving to work and feeling so overwhelmed by everything going on in our world. I looked up and saw a beautiful double rainbow. It seemed to go on for miles. I smiled and thanked God for his blessing. I praise God that even though I was down, I still was able to notice the beauty he created to bring us pleasure.
I know sometimes it is hard to stay positive. I tend to try to control things when I feel overwhelmed. Lead Pastor Ben Snyder reminded us that we are not responsible for the outcomes, but we are responsible for our contribution to the outcome. In other words, it is not our job to control things, it is our job to control our behavior during difficult times.
Life can be really hard, but it can be beautiful and wondrous too. The best really is yet to come. So, while we complete our journeys here on earth, we need to keep our eyes focused on the prize: God. We, followers of Christ, know how the journey ends … spending our eternity with our loving Father. And everyone said, “Amen!”
How do you behave during challenging times? What do you focus on? How do you press on to receive the prize? What are some blessings you have received from God during the last nine months?
Press on—make an effort to shift your focus during trying times to embrace peace, hope, and joy, remembering what God has in store for you. Here are some suggestions: Look up Bible verses about trusting God. Write them on index cards, and meditate on them when you feel yourself losing your peace. Write down three things you are grateful for every day and thank God for them. Journal on the ways God has helped you in the past, and remember them during the tough times.
God, I praise you. The best really is yet to come. Help me to realize how much you love me. Increase my trust in you during the tough times. Help me to lean on you and let you guide me through this journey. Always keep my eyes focused on you, the prize. Please work through me to give hope to others during difficult times. Help me to be positive and radiate your love, hope, and joy. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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