Making Progress

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 9:51-56

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. (v. 51)

Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” knowing full well the only thing awaiting him there was suffering and death. The Christian life is a life of forward movement, whatever lies ahead. “No one,” says Jesus a few verses later, “who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (v. 61).

Sergeant Walter Ehlers, who died last year at the age of 92, was the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor winner. He was among the first wave of troops that stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The Allies sustained more than 10,000 casualties that day, but Ehlers lost not a single soldier from his 12-man squad. Why? Because he and his men kept advancing directly into the face of enemy fire to avoid getting pinned down on the beach.

Sometimes it’s like that in the Christian life. In Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian sinks in the Slough of Despond but finds his footing on the promises of God and exits the far side of the swamp. His companion, however, quits the journey.

Sometimes we may feel our progress is slow, but “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you” (2 Peter 3:9).


Lord, help us to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God.”