November 1, 2014
Every day, I hear people tell me how afraid they are, how worried, sad and discouraged. They say "I can't fix my life; it's too messed up." They ask "Barb, How can I be happy with so much going wrong in not just my life, but in the lives of my family, my neighbors, and the world too?"
I can relate to what they are saying, and feeling, for most of my life I lived in fear. I suffered from depression, worried all the time, and was sad and almost always very discouraged, believing that what my life was, was all it would ever be. Like many people, I found it difficult to be happy. But when I was twenty-six I discovered how wrong I was, that though it is hard to be happy, it is not impossible. What made the difference?
What made the difference was What I was looking at and How I was looking at it. Have you ever thought about the definition of the word look? I ask this because sometimes we live life according to the one definition we are familiar with. And if we go by only one definition of something, we oftentimes miss out on other definitions that if rightly understood, could improve the quality of our lives.
LOOK: To look is to: fix one's eyes upon, to stare, give attention to, to study.
If we want to be happy in this world, to be able to experience peace no matter what is going
on around us, we have to learn to do that which makes it possible. And that which makes it possible is paying attention to HOW we are looking, and WHAT we are looking at.
If our eyes are fixed mostly upon the evil and unrest in the world, upon our trials, sorrows, and other negative things, happiness will never enter our door. Why not? Because while our minds, hearts and energies are focused upon these negative, painful things, the door to our hearts remain closed. And if our hearts are closed off because of fear, discouragement,
sorrows and worried, how can The God of All Comfort even began to comfort and uplift us?
How can He, if we're not looking at Him, not paying attention to Him?
His arms are always reaching out towards us, are wide open. He is forever doing what He can to guide, strengthen, lift up, bless, and encourage us; is always working hard to fill those empty, hurting places within our hearts. But while He is waiting for A LOOK from you, a LOOK from me, so that He can help us, our minds, hearts, thoughts and energies are upon the very things that are making us so miserable. We have to change some things if we want to be happy, to experience that promised peace of Christ. What must we do?
We must LOOK BACK.... .to Calvary.
We must take a backward look, (fix our eyes on the Cross) reminding ourselves that Jesus gave His life for ours. We will stumble sometimes, will fail and feel guilty, but don't have to
worry about it. From the Cross, our Lord and Savior tells us our sins have been forgiven,
we have been pardoned, washed clean. He says "I love you. I will never abandon you but
will be with you forever. Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and Power all flow from the Cross.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
We must LOOK UPWARDS......To the living Jesus.
Looking upwards takes our focus point away from the negative stuff that keeps us miserable and unhappy, and sets it upon Jesus, who is our perfect example. Keeping our eyes fixed upon Him keeps us strong, courageous, hopeful, and at peace. As long as He is our point of focus we won't fall back into depression, or walk through each day being fearful and worried.
We must LOOK FORWARD.....TO THE COMING KING.
Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God
and our Savior Jesus Christ."
Looking forward should fill us with excitement, should remind us of all the wonderful things we have to look forward too, especially being able to actually be with, talk with, and interact with the ONE who loved us so much he gave His life.
I love gazing at the stars, always imagine how far away God is. I like to imagine what the throne room looks like, and the mansion Jesus built for us. I love to imagine what the voices of the angels must sound like, am eager to hear them singing.
Mostly, when I take my upward look, I almost always cry a bit. How could I not? Jesus is
coming soon. And when He does, I will never have to experience pain again, no tears, no aches and pains. I will no longer have to lose loved ones or suffer abuse. All that hurts us today will no longer exist. God will wipe away our tears.
All around me I see crime worsening, children being harmed, murders, rapes, domestic violence. People lie, steal, betray their spouses, abandon their children, do all kinds of horrible, cruel, evil things. But seeing it no longer makes me afraid. The worse it gets, the more settled I am within my heart, for I know that the Lord's return is closer than most people think.
If you, the reader, are struggling with some of the same things I am, and most people are, I encourage you to change the way you LOOK at things. I want to encourage you to, from this
Look Back daily to the Cross,
Look Upwards...to the living Jesus,
Look Forward...to the Coming King
Bless us this day, Lord. Touch our hearts that we may desire better things for ourselves,
not material things, Lord, but those things that will make us better men and women, better parents for our children, better friends to the lost and hurting in the world. Help us be kinder, sweeter, more patient, more tolerant, more merciful, slower to anger and quicker to forgive..
Help us change the way we LOOK at things from now on. Help us keep our eyes steady upon Jesus, for He is the only ONE who can give us the peace we so desperately need.
I ask your blessings especially upon those whose marriages are falling apart, those whose children are in trouble, those whose faith is fading, and those who are seeking You. Please, Lord, let me be one who helps them find you, like somebody helped me.
Thank you for the gift of your precious Son, for the many things you do for me each day.
The days are not easy Father, nor the nights, which sometimes seem without end. Yet, no matter how lost I feel sometimes, I always know I will be okay because you love me, and know where I am.
Be with each of my children, their families, and the many friends I have who are so kind,
loving, and supportive. I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.