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We face an uncertain future as the Russian-Ukraine war continues. a new Covid-19 strain is spreading, and a global economic recession is expected. So how do we face this New Year with all its challenges and difficulties?

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14...

"Not that I have already obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

There are at least three things we can learn from this passage:

1. Focus on your calling, not your circumstances.

Paul was in a Roman prison while writing these words. Yet, despite his miserable situation, he was still focused on his calling. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” A clear sense of purpose could mean the difference between hope and despair.

2. Focus on the present, not on the past.

For Paul, if you want to stretch yourself toward your goal, it is not enough to know your calling; forgetting the past is equally important. Often, our greatest achievement often becomes our greatest limitation when we are more mesmerized by the past than we are excited about the future.

3. Focus on your goal, not on your grief.

Whatever caused you grief last year or the years following Covid, it is time to address that grief.Mark Buchannan says there are four ways to deal with your past.

  • Forgiveness
  • Thankfulness
  • Repentance
  • Acceptance

Paul’s goal was to know Christ. However, this does not come without a price. The path to knowing Christ is by sharing in his suffering and experiencing his resurrection power (Philippians 3:10).

As we all face a New Year, let us “make our calling and vision so clear that our fears become irrelevant” (anonymous).

Wishing you all a grace-filled 2023!

Blessings to all,

Jason and Donna



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More about Dr. Jason Richard Tan

Jason is an A2 alumnus having graduated from the Asian Access/Philippines program. Learn more about the TANs Ministry, https://www.globalgrace.org/tan    

Dr. Jason Richard Tan is the father of Joshua and Elisha, and the husband of Donna. He is also the author of Man Up: 21 Lessons Every Man Needs to Know About Manhood. Dr. Tan has had nearly 15 years of full-time pastoral experience with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP) and is currently the president of Great Commission Missionary Training Center in Antipolo City.


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