the struggle is REAL

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Philippians 3:13-14

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.

Today as I was reading a devotional on my mobile device. The verse of the day was Philippians 3:13 and the image it created said, “I forget what is behind. And I struggle for what is ahead.”

The word struggle seemed to me an odd word to use in this verse. My mind questioned what translation is this? I am accustomed to reading this verse with the words… I press, strain, reach, look  or stretch toward what is ahead. As I thought of sharing the image, I thought about how the encouragement, especially with the word struggle would have to be explained. You see there are many times I have asked someone how he or she is doing. The occasional response (depending on the person) has been, “I’m struggling…”

I decided to look up the word struggle. Of course many moons ago, I would have pulled my dictionary off the shelf to look up the word, but today the method was a quick search on the web. The web result of the verb struggle was to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction. My thought was that’s interesting. Not that the definition was something unexpected, but usually when people have shared they are struggling it has been more of a passive position, an accepting condition of life. Oftentimes the person feels as if he or she is being bombarded with the circumstances of life. However, based on our definition, if one was truly struggling he or she would be assertive in efforts to move forward, away from whatever was causing the restraint or constriction.

I know there are other definitions for the word struggle. Also, the word can take on the form of both a verb or a noun. However, I want to encourage you to not allow the struggle to become the condition in which you remain. It is time to forget (shake off) what is behind and struggle (press) for what is ahead. It is time to breakthrough, into what God has in store for you!

Remember to be REAL…

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