Paul’s outlook toward eternal life was: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
What do you do when you have met a challenge or achieved some goal in the Lord’s service? Press on! Find another challenge or set another goal. It’s no time to stop now. (This is the setting of our text.)
What do you do when you are disappointed in yourself—when you have succumbed to temptation, or when you did not handle some situation as well as you wished? Press on! Confess your wrong, try to learn something from it, then continue to do your best going forward, just as Peter did after denying the Lord.
What do you do when you are discouraged by deteriorating conditions around you, by times when the ungodly seem to be getting the upper hand, when you find yourself asking as some did the Psalmist, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). Press on! Noah “was a righteous man, blameless in his time” (Genesis 6:9). We can live that way, too, and be lights in the world.
What do you do when your Bible study with a non-Christian did not result in a conversion? Press on! Look for someone else to study with. Not even Jesus or His apostles converted everyone they taught! Our work is to teach. The gospel is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16), and it will have its effect on open, honest hearts.
What do you do when others do not seem to appreciate your work? Perhaps not enough people have said thank you. Maybe some have taken advantage of you by giving you more than your “fair share” of a workload. Press on! Continue to do your best. In every circumstance, the Lord is the one we work for. He is the ultimate rewarder (Colossians 3:24).
What do you do when one problem follows another, when despite doing what is right you keep having troubles? Press on! Peter described life’s trials as the testing of our faith by fire (1 Peter 1:7), similar to the testing of precious metals. He urged us to keep focusing on the Lord and “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (v. 9).