Okay, so we all have probably set some New Year’s resolutions by now, or have vowed not to do any this year. I have been thinking for a while about ways that I would like 2014 to look different than 2013 and previous years. As I was standing during worship a couple weeks ago at my church, they played the song “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” The chorus struck me. The words are…
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Over the last year I have been searching through scripture trying to find answers to some of the tough questions in my life and in the lives of others around me. Such as: Why after actively working on a sin do we still struggle? Why is there so much infertility? How do you love the unloveable or the repeat offenders? How can a marriage survive when trust is broken or there is a lack of love and nurturing? Will a relationship with a friend or family member ever get better? The list can go on and on, but the deep rooted question I always fall back on no matter what the circumstance is, “God, how long do we have to keep fighting? How long do we have to stay engaged in this situation? Will we ever be able to just bow out and move on?”
After a year of struggling with God, poring over scripture, praying, questioning and finally listening, I think I have come to realize the answers to many of my questions. (Which I will begin to share over the next few months.)
Today however I want to draw our attention back to this chorus. I think within this chorus there are so many truths that if we take the time to really think about it we can all begin to see the answers to our inner questions.
In my study a recurring theme was look through Jesus’ eyes, not my own. Stop looking at the circumstance. Stop “what if-ing” all the different scenarios that could be (but probably won’t). Stop focusing on how it makes you feel. Instead, see that person through the eyes of a loving Father. Start looking to God to guide your next step in the situation. This is the first and most important step in all situations. If we can’t stop our own eyes and replace them with the eyes of Christ, we will continue to bumble through only making some progress here and there. True victory will not be had until we start using our “God-vision lens”.
The second step is just as important. To put things in their proper perspective we need to fully understand who God is and the power of His saving grace. All of us are sinners. All of us will make mistakes, but praise God He gives us what we do not deserve. We need to truly grasp how much we ourselves have been forgiven. Then we have to learn to operate in that same way. We have to learn to offer grace to those who have offended us, hurt us and did wrong to us. We have to learn to love in a way that only God can give us the ability to do. But to do this we have to fully grasp who God is.
Instead of dwelling on our problems or circumstances, we need to dwell on what the Bible says about God. What does His Word say about His promises to all believers and about His willingness to supply all our needs? Do you know what the Bible says about you? That you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you? That you can have joy no matter what the circumstance?
Thankfully we have the Bible in our hands to show us God’s true, consistent character. He is the same God that fulfilled His promise to an aged Abraham, the same God that saved the Israelites time and time again, the same God that provided oil and food for those who had none and the same God that healed any disease. Do you know that He sees you? He hears you? and He is willing and able?
There is not a 12 step process to fix your problem, just one! All you have to do is focus, look fully at Jesus and you will begin to work through all of life’s issues.
I challenge you (and myself) that as you start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions or what you want to accomplish this year that you sit down with your list and your Bible and see how God can help you accomplish your goals. Build yourself up, increase your faith. Ask Him to give scriptures that you can stand on to help you fight your battle. Ask Him for wisdom on how to deal with relationships that are trying. Ask Him what the next step is to accomplish your goal. I promise if you take the time to “Look fully” at him He will meet you right where you are and show you the way. Then and only then I promise, “the things of this earth will grow strangely dim” and you will experience a new-found joy that is beyond anything that you could have imagined!!
Take the time to see 2014 in a new light!