Devotion #125

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

If you know me well, or you’ve read anything written by me, you know these verses speak to me. I find such encouragement in the words “press on.” No matter what I am walking through or where I am in life, these verses refocus my eyes on the ultimate purpose, and they give me the strength to continue to move through my trial. Two little words bring to mind all that is written in this passage, and they have the power to bring me such peace—it’s why I say them so often. I let go of what’s happened in the past and just continue to move forward.

The application of these words is critical to finding grace in our marriages. We are not to focus on what is behind us in our marriage, but we are to forever be looking forward to what is before us. There is such freedom in forgetting what is behind. We don’t need to stay locked in the box of our past because His word tells us we are renewed in Him every day. 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16. 

We will make mistakes. We will say hurtful words, and we will make foolish decisions. But we don’t have to stay in the regret of what we have done.And we don’t need to keep our spouses locked in the box of unforgiveness from past hurts either. What’s done is done, it only hurts our relationship to focus on the past. Deal with it in the moment, then leave it there and move forward. The world teaches us such different truths. We are taught that the past defines us, and we are taught to never let go of the hurt caused by others. We are taught it’s important to spend a lot of time reviewing and reflecting on the past, working through the pain caused by us or to us. And our hearts want to hold on to that hurt. We want to nurse the wound caused by our spouse’s sin, bringing it back up again and again as a way to punish and soothe our pain. But God’s Word challenges us to keep moving forward. There is such freedom in letting the past go and focusing on today. The past can bring discouragement, but there is hope in what lies ahead.

Press on is an active verb, requiring that we exert ourselves, grasping onto the heavenly hope from which so many blessings flow. It is an intentional decision to shift your eyes forward. One of the blessings God brings us is encouragement. We receive encouragement as a free gift from Him when we press on and hold on to the hope, focusing instead on what He has done, not what we have done or our spouse has done, focusing on what He is doing, and what He will do. Grace flows from the choice to press on.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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