Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
I was a youth pastor in Kansas before I went to seminary. One of the gifts that I received from the pastor I worked with there was a book called Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back: Persevering Through Pressure by Charles R. Swindoll. The book was a helpful resource in building perseverance through the ups and downs of life.
This is life for most of us. Things seem to be going good and then something comes to set us back. Just when we think we are getting ahead financially an unexpected expense comes to us.
Just when we are experiencing good health, the doctor gives us unwanted news.
But what I like about this image is that we are always taking more steps forward than going backward.
The Bible has great insight for us in this area.
In Philippians 3:13-14 we hear the words: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have laid hold of it, but one thing I have laid hold of: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal, toward the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Life is like a race — a long distance race. So, we are always taking steps toward the goal — the goal of spending eternal life with God. The goal of an abundant life with God here on earth.
And along the way, there are setbacks — steps backward. But we don’t dwell on our past circumstances, mistakes, and sins.
God helps us to move on. God speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah: “I alone am the one who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
“And Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:62) We learn from our past, but we are always moving forward.
We can do this because we know who is running the race right beside us. It is God himself.
“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
We are not alone in this life. God gives us people to make the journey with. God is there beside us every step of the way.
So we can look to the future with confidence. God is there, ready to make all things new in your life.
“Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)