I know from personal experience that this is easier said than done! By nature we tend to focus on the problems we are facing in life, rather than looking to the One who can solve them.
Perhaps you’ve had someone tell you, “Cheer up; things could be worse.” Except that when you cheered up, things got worse! I never really liked such pessimistic advice. It directs our focus to the problems of life rather than toward the Problem Solver.
But this is not for you! Let’s look at the advice from Scripture:
You him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
(Isaiah 26:3 ESV)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
These are just two of the many verses that encourage our look away from our problems and fix our eyes on our Problem Solver. Regardless of the problems we are facing . . .
- Financial reversal
- Trouble at the office
- Difficulties in our marriage
- Fractured relationships
- Health concerns
. . . Isaiah is telling us God will keep us in perfect peace as we shift our focus away from our problems and put it steadfastly on our Problem Solver. It comes down to trusting in God even when we cannot trace Him. We cannot simply read “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31); we must believe in our hearts that our God really is for us, so it truly doesn’t matter what problems come up against us!
The author of Hebrews tells us to fix our focus on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. In other words, what Jesus began in you He will one day bring to completion (Philippians 1:6). Jesus is perfecting us both in and through our problems. You see, it is often the challenges of life that God has ordained to use to conform us to Christ.
So . . . what have you been focusing on lately? Your problems? Or your Problem Solver? Your focus really does make a difference in how you walk through life. Know this: what you focus on tends to get bigger and bigger in your mind’s eye. So if your focus is set on your problems, guess what gets bigger? Your problems! But if you focus on your Problem Solver, He will occupy more space in your heart and in your mind, and you will make better decisions about how to deal most effectively with the problems you are facing.
In the seventh chapter of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus instructs us to ask, seek, and knock; when we do, He assures us that we will receive, we will find, and the door will be opened to us. We have His Word on it!
Focus on the kingdom of God first and His righteousness . . . and watch your problems shrink!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!