Focal passage: Philippians 3:8-21
I was a girl scout for a few years as a kid. I sold a lot of cookies, went to troop meetings and made new friends. One of the highlights for our troop was the yearly overnight camping trip. I had never been camping before, so I couldn’t wait to see what it would be like. However, as daylight faded, I found myself missing home. I missed the comfort of my mom and the familiarity of my own bedroom. I dwelled on what was safe and comfortable so much that my troop leader ended up having to take me home.
I’ve still never been camping. I can only imagine what all I missed. The memories I could have made are all missed opportunities now. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever given up on something a little too early.
The Christian life is hard. The Bible doesn’t dispute that. Sometimes turning back seems so much easier. The comforts of the world lure us with its seeming ease. Paul knew this full well as he was in prison for being a Christian. How did he not despair? Paul says that he considers all the worldly things that he had ever gained as loss in comparison to knowing Jesus. Because of his hope in the Savior, he could move forward in faith, knowing that what was ahead was far better that what he left behind.
The same is true for us. When giving up feels so much better, we can have joy as we are reminded of what’s to come. Regardless of what rests in our past, there is so much more ahead. Not only do we look forward to how the kingdom of God will come to bear in this life, but we eagerly await the life to come. There, the fullness of our salvation will be actualized as we enter eternally into the presence of the one who saved us.