I readily admit that the advice given in the title is much easier said than done. Human nature finds it far easier to focus on the problems we face in life, rather than to look to the One who can solve those problems. Perhaps you’ve had this experience: Someone exhorts you to “Cheer up, things could be worse.” You cheer up, and sure enough, things get worse! I never really cared for pessimistic advice like “Things could be worse.” It directs our attention at the problems of life rather than at the Problem-Solver. This is not for you!
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . . (Hebrews 12:2)
Those are just two of the many verses that encourage us to shift our focus away from our problems and onto our Problem-Solver. Isaiah 26:3 is telling us that, regardless of the problems we are facing . . .
- Financial reversal
- Trouble at the office
- Difficulties in our marriage
- Fractured relationship
- Health concerns
. . . God will keep us in perfect peace when we shift our focus away from our problems and put it on Him, trusting our God even when we cannot trace Him. This is a faith that knows deep down that our God is for us, so it really doesn’t matter what problems come against us.
The author of Hebrews exhorts us to keep our focus on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. In other words, what Jesus began in us He will one day bring to completion. Jesus is perfecting us in and through our problems. You see, God has ordained the challenges of life to conform us to the likeness of our Savior. James said it very plainly: “The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4).
So . . . how has it been with you lately? What have you been focused on? Your problems or your Problem-Solver? Your focus really does make a dramatic difference in how you walk through trials. Know this: what you focus on tends to get bigger and bigger in your mind’s eye. So if your focus is directed at your problems, guess what gets bigger? That’s right, your problems! But if you fix your eyes on Jesus, 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 whatever problems you are facing.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed us to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7); when we do that, we can be assured that we will receive, we will find, and the door leading to a solution will be opened to us. We have His Word on that!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT…AMEN!