“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
A coach for an NFL football team, before a playoff game, brought the Super Bowl trophy and $250,000 in cash into the locker room as motivation for the team. He wanted them to see what it was that they were playing for – the reward for winning. The players were motivated by the trophy they’d receive and the money they stood to earn.
Paul had a similar strategy, although it was a bit less materialistic. He set his sights on what was waiting for him at the end of his race on this earth – heaven. We can learn something from his approach.
Just like the football team had a visual before the game of what they were playing to win, Paul had a clear picture in his head of what he was working for. Being a Christian is by no means easy. At least, Jesus said it wouldn’t be. It’s a challenge. It’s counter cultural. It takes endurance, patience, faith, and hope. But the end goal is worth every difficulty, every challenge, every hardship.
As you face the difficulties of life, especially the difficulties of life as a Christian, remember what goal you’re working toward. Remember the reward that God has promised you. That’s what Jesus did too. According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus, “for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross.” When he faced the ultimate trial, his motivation was the joy, the glory, of resurrection and eternal life in heaven.
No matter what you face, let heaven be your motivation. Have confidence that if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you will have a reward in heaven with him. Nothing on this earth can ever compare to the glory of that reward. Keep your eyes set on glory and nothing will stop you.
Thank you for the promise of eternal life. Thank you for the reward that you’ve set before me as a believer in Jesus. I pray that you’d help me to keep the perspective of heaven as I face the trials of this life.
In Jesus’ Name,