Philippians 3:13 – Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. (KJV)
Romans 5:3 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience. (KJV)
The New Standard Version writes these scriptures to read as follows:
Philippians 3:13 – Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the goal.
Romans 5:3 – We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.
I use both versions for impact because anything worth doing takes patience and perseverance, especially when we are working hard at something such as a bad habit or an addiction which we must put aside in order to achieve our goal.
Smoking and weight sometimes go hand in hand. When I had our first child, I gained a little weight, but took it off easily. The clump that grabbed hold with our second child took a little more work, but it too came off. In those days I smoked, but had stopped smoking quite awhile before our third child was born.
Now, this time, the weight just didn't want to come off. This time it took much more work. I went back to smoking, and again the weight came off.
I'm not sure whether it was my mom's decreasing health from heart disease, a certain stage of my dad's emphysema, or a combination of both, but I put the cigarettes aside and joined the "one-third who will gain weight when they stop smoking" crowd.
After seven years of not smoking and trying to lose weight, I finally turned it over to God. I asked Him to please help me, to tell me what to do. With Him, I was guided in the right direction. By giving up certain foods which caused allergies and digestive problems, and by asking for His guidance each day, it has worked. It did take patience (or perseverance) but somehow, it seemed much easier when I was "weighting for God".
Prayer: We thank you for guiding our paths, especially at those times and in those areas of our life when we must put some of our old ways behind us. Thank you for being there to enable us to persevere. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.