Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
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,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
What a unique outlook is the apostle’s considering that he was in prison facing near certain execution. Under such circumstances a person might have spent his time looking back. Indeed, in Paul’s second letter to he does glance back to recall;
2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Paul did not view the end of his life on earth as the end of anything. Nor did he, in the shadow of his own gallows as it were, give up. He continued
- to press forward
- to think ahead
- to set a mark and reach for it.
Hope in Christ changes how we view the final times of life. It makes every moment of breath matter. There is no time when we view life as invaluable and meaningless because the last moment on earth is one that may still be used toward the eternal moments of heaven. We live in a state of constant progression rather than reaching a point where we begin to decline because we know that, for the believer, there is no end; only a new beginning.
 But even in this there is a forward-looking turn as the apostle announces and for the sake of other promises.