Progress

Hope Discovery for the Day:

Progress happens one step at a time. Stay the course.

Scripture of the Day:

1 Timothy 4:14-15

“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Proverbs 4:18

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”

Romans 8:29-30

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Progress. That daunting word that threatens to snuff out our goals. The mere mention intimidates us when we consider what we had hoped for has not yet transpired.

Ever feel discouraged that you are not making good progress? It might be our own inner voice that expected more from our efforts, but it is often the voices of others (real or imagined) that condemn our progress because we have not achieved our desired objective yet.

But what is defined as “good progress”, anyway? Is it the completion of our desired goal, or the continued participation in that goal? People mean well when they ask how your projects are going. Their measuring stick might be inaccurate, though, and point us to a performance-based mentality.

We are all uniquely called and gifted by our sovereign God and within each of us burns a desire to see God’s will fulfilled in our lives. We yearn to reach the next place we think we are supposed to be, but might not realize how far we have already come.

Progress is a subjective thing. Some consider progress to be gained when we reach our final goal and are dubbed as “successful”. But progress is as much about staying in your calling as it is about completing it.

The frustration in trying to reach a goal is that we will never fully arrive down here. So how do we mark our progress? It might look a little different than we envisioned.

A Proper Measure.

We tend to compare to others who seem to be successful, but don’t see the people looking at us in the same way. There is always someone further along than us as well as someone following our steps. Progress is not measured by what we see. It is measured by what God is accomplishing in and through us. Being faithful to consistently develop everything God has placed in us is progress.

While we work toward our goals, we can forget that it is not truly dependent upon us. Sure, we put forth the effort, but it is God Who equips and completes the work in us.

Just a Servant.

We are just servants and stewards of the gifts that God has placed in us. He alone is able to accomplish the task He has laid upon our hearts. He is bringing us from glory to glory. And we get to participate. He promises to complete the work He began and that completion might look differently than what we imagined.

Intent.

But perhaps our objective has been skewed along the way and we may have forgotten the original intent. It is in seeking to grow the gifts God has given that we can reach more people with God’s love. That some might be saved. It was not about us in the first place.

For Who?

Should we get to see the success we always hoped for, in degree or completion, it is not our success, after all. It is God Who calls, gifts and enables us to do the work He has given. May He alone receive all the glory.

Progress happens one step at a time. Stay the course.

 

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