It May Be What’s Before You That Stops You, Not Whats Behind

Sometimes it is not what is behind us that troubles us the most. It may be what we can't see ahead of us that is really our most troubling issue. Paul said, forgetting those things which are behind. Certainly, that is something we must do. However, I am more and more convinced that the second part of this is often ignored. Paul goes on to say reaching forth unto those things which are before.


Hopelessness is far more often symptomatic of what you can't see ahead of you than what is behind you. You may be able to forget the failures of your past but not be able to see the possibilities of your future. Hopelessness is not usually based on what has happened before. Hopelessness is more often caused by an inability to see anything ahead. It is not the storm behind me that I fear but the one directly ahead of me. It is not the fog I have already driven that keeps me from seeing. It is the fog ahead of me that concerns me the most.


People who give up often do so because no one has shown them what is before them. When a person falls, we are so busy lashing out at them for their past that we fail to point them to what is before them in the future. Hope is what is ahead, and hopelessness is what we can't see ahead.


What happened in the past may have created the circumstances in which a person is living, but knowing there is a purpose in the future will keep them pressing forward for Christ. Suicide is not typically based on what happened to someone before. What happened before may affect what they can't see ahead. Suicide is a sense that there is nothing ahead to give one hope. Hope for what, you may ask? Let's consider that question.


Here is a person suffering through some type of illness, whether physical or psychological, or emotional. The person cannot see any relief ahead and becomes discouraged. They feel a sense of hopelessness. They seek relief from their suffering, but they see no relief. Relief is not what they need to see. What they need to see is its purpose. If they see a purpose ahead of them, they can continue to press toward the mark despite their suffering.


It may not be because of your past if you struggle to press for the mark. It may be because you cannot see what is ahead. Let me encourage you that God has a purpose for you. Do not try to see it and believe it. Start by believing it until you see it. Once you can reach for the things before you by faith, you will find great joy in your life, and you will be able to better press for the mark of God's high calling, which is in Christ Jesus.