Three months into my year of delight, God has placed some doozy situations in my life. Things kind of feel out of control. AND I DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT. 😉
I know that God can’t teach me how to fully delight and trust in Him without struggles. But man, I wish that weren’t the case.
I like my life easy and uncomplicated, thank you very much.
But alas, that isn’t how life works. Jesus tells us straight up in the book of John, “Here on earth, you will have many troubles and sorrows” (John 16:33, emphasis mine).
As life’s circumstances pile up around me, feelings of pressure and fear have started popping up in my mind. Not going to lie – I’ve been feeling a little shaken.
When life feels out of control, how do I keep my faith strong and my mind fixed on Him?
When we’re being tested is when we learn the most about our relationship with God.
Where is my focus?
Oswald Chambers asks, “Is your mind stayed on God, or is it starved?”
I love that, because with just a few words it gets to the heart of the matter:
am I focused on God, or am I focused on my circumstances?
When life starts giving us hiccups, it’s super easy to get knocked off-course if we’re not focused on Christ. Here are some questions I’ve used for self-examination in my own life, to gauge if I’m prioritizing my relationship with Jesus over the distractions of life:
- Am I looking to Him for help, or struggling through in my own strength?
- Have I stored scripture – TRUTH – in my heart to draw upon during hard times?
- Have I developed spiritual disciplines in my life (prayer, Bible study, fasting) to stay connected with God when I feel my faith starting to waiver?
- Are there people in my life who will check in with me, encourage me, cry with me, pray for me?
- Am I choosing to delight in Him and in my circumstances, even when things are really hard?
I have to remember whose I am and who I serve.
When I’m focused on myself and my earthly circumstances, instead of being consumed with Jesus Christ, it’s easy to feel lost and hopeless.
I was at a women’s conference this past weekend, and we were given the chance to make stamped metal keychains. We were to identify a word we felt God laying on our hearts and stamp it on a metal disc as a reminder of how He is at work in our hearts.
The word I felt God repeating to me over and over throughout that event was FOCUS. I resisted that word at first, because it didn’t feel “biblical” enough. But gosh, it’s absolutely the word I needed.
What have I been focusing on lately? Fluctuating finances. Struggling relationships. Raging emotions. Failing health.
I felt God whisper to me: Focus on ME, beloved. Keep your eyes on Me no matter what comes. Let me be your everything, your one constant, unchanging source of peace. Let Me be enough for you. You belong to Me and I delight in you.
Here’s the thing. I obviously don’t have the answers to the problems my family and loved ones are facing right now. I have no idea what the future will look like. But through these times, He’s teaching me that keeping my focus on Him is enough.
So as I write these words, I’m choosing to look toward the Light. We are not alone. We are not helpless, because we have the King of Glory looking out for us. His word says that when we call on Him for help, joy will come.
If you are feeling the weight of darkness and fears, can I encourage you with a few words?
Remind yourself that this is the day that the Lord has made.
Remember that our God isn’t a mistake-making God.
Cling to the truth of this scripture today. Isaiah 60:1-3 (MSG) says,
out of bed, Jerusalem!
Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
God’s bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
his sunrise glory breaks over you.”
This is a banner of truth over our lives! Even when the day feels impossibly dark, like there is nothing but bleak darkness around us, God’s love and light pours out over us. His sunrise glory breaks over us!
Let’s put our faces in the sunlight and embrace that truth today.