“…I press on to take hold of that for which
Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12 (NIV)
Over a thousand years ago Arabs used something called a Kamal to try to guide their ships from harbour to the destination and then safely back to the port from which they left. Various other instruments that also measured latitude were created over the succeeding centuries for marine navigation.
Polaris, our north star, was much used as a fixed point from which to refer in the night sky. However it took centuries to figure out longitude at sea and so many ships were lost.
Nowadays we have the GPS systems in our vehicles to help us navigate our way to a new destination. Even when I know where I am going in another city or town, I usually put the address into my handy GPS so it will tell me where to turn, how far I have to the destination, and my estimated time of arrival.
It is a very rare thing to have my GPS misdirect me. Once recently it simply had me go in circles instead of guiding me the best way to my destination. I do not know why it did that but I simply got on my cell phone and asked the person for directions to their home.
There are two things we really need in life in order to cope well with the difficult alternatives that come our way. First we need to decide if this life is the journey or is it the goal. I know that I am much better at handling the adversities of life simply because I know I am on a journey and that this life is not the goal.
Had I thought this life was all there is (the goal), then I might be very sorry. I have had my share of adversities that put limits on what I otherwise would have accomplished with my opportunities. If I really thought that this life was my total existence, then I would say with one of the great minds of the ages, “My soul is a habitation of unyielding despair.”
I would be very miserable if I thought there was not a life beyond the grave. Because of the teaching of the Bible I am convinced that this life is a journey and my goal lies beyond, in the life to come. This is what the apostle Paul was getting at in our verse for today.
Christians cope with the trials of today knowing that there is a better day coming when God shall take away all sorrow from their lives and give them a world to live in forever that is free from sickness, heartache, and death. The Bible teaches from the very beginning that we were meant to enjoy God and live in peace and harmony with creation.
That was the goal God had in creating humanity in the first place. But Adam and Eve messed things up, lost the goal of living, and ever since humanity has been on a journey back to the goal of creation in the first place. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ that we are able to recognize that this life is indeed a journey and the goal is beyond the grave. That is the secret of coping with trials now.
Do you look at life here and now as the goal? Then you have no way to encourage yourself in times of hardship. Why not use the infallible GPS called the Bible to navigate your way on the journey of life in order to reach the goal of being in God’s paradise forever? Let us know if you need a Bible and we shall send you one for free.