So how many people have already given up on their New Year resolutions? How many will give up by the end of January? It’s an annual practice for many people to make resolutions, and the annual joke that most of them have given up before a month is even over. I, for one, have given up on resolutions. I figure if I need a prompt like the New Year to get me started on something, I’m honestly not going to ever finish. I haven’t given up goals, plans, and dreams, but I refuse to tie them to a particular date. I have also given myself more grace in terms of how things turn out because life just happens sometimes.
Philippians 3:12-14 says, “12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 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 Paul is obviously not talking about the kind of resolutions we generally make each year in terms of earthly self-improvement, but he is talking about the struggles we all deal with as we go through life. He is reminding the Philippians, and us, that everyone struggles in this life. We all have to deal with the issues and annoyances, etc., that lead us to make those resolutions and plans in the first place. The reminder of those struggles is just the first part of his encouragement though. The last part of the verse reminds us of what we have as a promise from our heavenly Father at the end of all those struggles. Life with Him eternally, which makes all of those struggles and frustrations pale in comparison to what we will have in the end.
Lydia Massie, Director of Children’s Ministry