When we get the PUSH we need to reach for our goals, we still need to be aware of the nature of the journey. We bump into something unexpected along the way and suddenly we’re not quite sure about our goals or the certainty of reaching them. This is why I want to lay out the cycle of hope the Apostle Paul shares in Romans, chapter 5: 1 – 5.
- The cycle begins with us standing in grace, rejoicing that our goals and our future can be aligned with God’s purpose for us. We begin rejoicing, acknowledging that reaching for our goal is another way of reaching for the glory of God.
- The second part of the cycle is tribulation. Reaching goals is hard work. Our faith is going to be tested and tried. The whole point of setting and reaching goals is to exchange our old life for the new life to which God is calling us. There is going to be friction between the old, status quo and what we’re reaching for.
- The third step in the cycle is patience. There is a reason why we have to build up our faith to follow the pathway of grace and to pursue our goals. There is a new burden of expectation that we are bearing, as well as the drag of inertia. At every stage of the journey, don’t stop. Tribulation is to be expected. The need for patience is to be expected. Keep on reaching for the prize.
- Eventually, you realize you are gaining a new experience. You begin to see some proof of progress. The scale shows some of the pounds have come off. You can tell your skill level is improving.
- Experience renews our hope. Our inspiration at this point of the journey is Christ crucified and his willing commitment to endure the cross for the joy set before him. At this point, we know the repetition of the steps necessary for success do not rise from our initial weakness and need for change. No, our hope now rises because we sense the strength into which we are developing.
- This hope elevates us to embrace the once far off goal. We rejoice again as we near and reach our goal. We love this process of transformation and now look for that next right thing that will enable us to more closely identify ourselves with Jesus Christ.
The cycle of hope is a recurring cycle as we and God work together for a miraculous life transformation.
What is that one goal right now if sought and reached would bring glory to the Lord?
What step in the cycle has been the obstacle/barrier most difficult for you to overcome in the past? How could you address that using one of the means of accountability we spoke about day before yesterday?
How does finding out all of us go through the same kind of struggle/cycle to reach our goals help you?