“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” vs. 12
Suffering and death were not obstacles for Paul…in fact, he saw them as the means by which he might identify totally with Christ Jesus, and then experience the power of resurrection. While those things lay in the future he was confident that one day he would know that new life, not because he had earned it or already arrived, but because he already belonged to the Christ. His words have brought comfort and consolation to millions as they progress through the varying stages of life. One day we will have what Jesus has! We will be resurrected and received into the fullness of God. What has begun in this world will be completed in the next. Now we are on the journey…then we reach the goal! How do we know this? The answer is simple: we know new life will be ours because Christ Jesus has already made us his own. In the meantime we press on, enjoying the journey to the fullest, savoring the varying delicious moments of this life, knowing that our ending is secure. Will there be suffering on the Way? Of course…it’s what happens when we work for justice and stand with the lowly. It’s what happens when we take up the cross. But there will also be joy, the beautiful joy that is sparked by the wonders of life in Christ.
Thought for the Day: What sparks my joy?