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Pressing On Towards the Goal – Philippians 3:10-21 (Storms of Life)

Devotions for the storms of life

Read: Philippians 3:10-21

Key Verses: v13-14:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

What Does it Mean?

Paul never stopped looking ahead – not to the immediate future but to the ultimate future, the certainty of eternity. He recognised that looking back was a hinderance to his journey with Jesus, and resolved to always keep his focus on his goal – reaching heaven at the end of his earthly days. As humans, we have a tendency to look back on what was, or what might have been, with rose-tinted glasses. The same happened to the Israelites when Moses led them out of Egypt. They looked back with longing for the things that they had hated while they were in slavery, because the situation that they found themselves in was more difficult than they wanted it to be. When storms hit, that’s what we do, perhaps because we start to think that even the most awful things from before were better than the really awful things we’re facing now. The problem with looking back is that it doesn’t help us in any way. It just makes us more miserable. That’s why it’s so important to get our focus right all the time – in storms and in the calm. Fixing our eyes on the prize, as Paul did, gives us strength and courage to keep forging ahead, no matter how hard the going is, because we’re able to recognise the benefits. We’ve got something to hold onto, an anchor that enables us to withstand any storm, any attack of the enemy. Straining forward keeps us on our tiptoes as we eagerly anticipate eternity – and that position places us in a position of readiness. Boxers are always up on the balls of their feet because they know that it’s a better fighting stance than having their feet flat on the floor. They’re harder to knock down on their tiptoes – and so are we.

Bottom Line

Looking back – either at things we’ve lost or at the way things were – is rarely a good idea. The goal of every Christian should be, as Paul writes, to strain towards what is ahead – our future in eternity with God. Having a forward-focus makes us less susceptible to going under when the storms of life are raging all around us. It makes us stronger and more determined. It makes us able to withstand the devil’s schemes. Like Paul, we need to stop looking back over our shoulder at what might have been and forge ahead to the certainty that awaits us in heaven.

Journaling and Reflection 

  • Fixing our eyes on the prize of eternity keeps us on our tiptoes and makes us harder for the devil to knock down. How does this statement change how you feel about the way you respond to the storms you face? Why?
  • It’s human nature to look back with rose-tinted glasses. Why is this approach bad for us? What steps can you take to ensure that you’re standing on tiptoes not looking back over your shoulders?


Lord God, thank You that through Your Son Jesus Christ, I have an anchor that secures me no matter how fierce the storm around me gets. Help me to resist the temptation to look back with longing and instead fix my eyes firmly on eternity, that I may be ready and able to withstand every attack of the enemy. Amen. 

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