– Woodrow Kroll
Leaving Our Past
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). His main point was that he kept looking forward and not backwards. Neither should we, as we shouldn’t trip over stuff that’s behind us but keep our eyes on the future.
Enduring the Present
The Apostle Paul, in human terms, had little to be content with since he suffered from beatings, stoning, deprivation of sleep and food, and frequent imprisonment. But he learned how to be content in every circumstance in which he found himself. Paul said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11), meaning it didn’t come naturally. He had to learn to be content, as we will have to do.
On the Horizon
Jesus once said that “no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). This is literally what Elisha did when Elijah called him; he left his plow and put his hand to whatever God planned for him to do. Elisha simply “left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ And he said to him, ‘Go back again, for what have I done to you’ (1 Kings 19:20). Some made excuses for not following Christ, like one man who said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” (Matthew 8:21). So he really didn’t count the cost and consider the future.
Through the Valleys
When King David wrote Psalm 23, he may have been reflecting on his own life when he was constantly being chased down by King Saul, who wanted to kill him. But David knew that the shadow of the valley of death is not the same thing as the reality of death. A shadow cannot hurt you, so he trusted God. God didn’t take David around the valley but helped him go over the valley because he trusted the sovereignty of God. Do we?
When we cannot seem to go through a trial in life, God can take our hand and go through it with us. He may not keep us from trials, but He promises to go through them with us. And as Woodrow Kroll said, sometimes He will take us over them.