Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus


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…
Helen H. Lemmel

Oh, how messy life can be!  You might feel as though you’ve got it all pretty squared away and the things of life are moving along in the right direction… and WHAM!  Someone, or something, puts a kink in your air hose and you find yourself fighting to reach the surface of sanity and for a breath of relief. All of a sudden, you are struggling to keep your head above the waters of despair, grief, anger, fear, or all of the above.  We fight against the feelings of being overwhelmed, or at other times, we are paralyzed by worry and anxiety over tragedy and other things out of our control.  After exhausting and draining every bit of our waning energy, we fall into bed at night unable to sleep and recharge as we rehearse our next move, think through the worst case scenarios, or spend worry on the endless possibilities.

WHY? Why do we even attempt to battle, defend, work, run and manipulate when the Word of God clearly tells us to rest… Rest in Him.  Sisters, when we carry on out of our own strength and determination in the throws of trouble, we are disobeying direct orders from our Commander in Chief and we sin. Why do we press on in pride trying to handle things on our own?  It makes no sense, yet I have struggled with this time and again.  We tell the Almighty God of the universe, Creator of heaven and earth, that we are grateful that He sent His Son to die for us and raised Him from the dead.  However, our actions are in contrast saying, “I don’t trust You to take care of me or my problems.  I got this one, I’ll handle it.”  I might as well say to the Father, “I can throw my hands up in worship before a congregation of people, I will tell of Your wonders and grace, but I will not trust You to save me, carry me or heal me.” Sisters, if this is all there is to Christianity and we are left alone to fend for ourselves, then why make Jesus our Lord and SAVIOR in the first place?

The beauty and blessing of being a child of the Most High God is that He promises to love us, protect us, and use ALL things, even the greatest tragedy, for our good!  He can redeem it all!  All we must do is learn to rest and trust in Him. (Psalm 37:7)  This may be difficult in the beginning, not because He makes it so, but because our flesh does.  Although, if we continually call on Him for His peace that passes all understanding, and if we take every thought captive and hold them up to the light of His Word and Truth; He will train our hearts and minds to die unto our flesh and rest in His strong, capable, and loving arms.

It is in these times that our wonderful God draws us near if we will stop for a moment, ignore the whirling winds around us and listen to His calling… Calling to be still, stand and watch as He takes what we have, even the worst we can imagine, and see Him create beauty from ashes. (Ephesians 6:13, Isaiah 61:3)  He will draw back the choking waters about our heads and turn it into wine that is sweet to our lips.  He will strengthen our weary backs burdened with the things of life and uphold us with His mighty right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Oh, believe me, I can complain with the best of them in the midst of such worrisome and grievous days!  Although, when I stop and press into Him instead, I find that these are some of the greatest moments with my Father.  I now look forward to those times, ones so personally miraculous that they are indelibly written on my mind and spirit and can be recalled when other dark days come.  Not to say that I want to invite trouble, but there is nothing like the moment when I finally decide to hold out my hands and give up my pathetic attempts to control my situation and life… and He lifts the burden from me, and I can almost tangibly feel the weight depart as His gentle love surrounds me.   It is then that my light and momentary troubles seem to wash away.  I can breath again and that deep indwelling joy begins to bubble back up to the surface and overflow, in the knowing that all of these things will be used for an eternal glory that will outweigh them all! (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) I love that place.  That place in Him, where my spirit can find rest.

Will you hold out your troubles to Him today, and trust Him to complete the good work He started in your life? (Philippians 1:6)  Will you allow Him to be more than just a passing thought or prayer at the dinner table, and allow Him to be your Savior? Your Friend? Your Protector? Your Provider? Your Rock? He is waiting for you, dear Sister, and He is able!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Ephesians 3: 17-19 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (New Living Translation)

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Bible references from the New International Version, unless otherwise noted.

 

3 comments for “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

  1. Connie
    May 28, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    Hello!
    and THANK you for this devotion. It’s JUST what I was looking for this morning…..no, REALLY, it was JUST what I was looking for. Couldn’t go back to sleep this morning after my husband left to deliver newspapapers. Then the grand baby started to cry. Then the dog wanted out. THEN, our 8 yr old was awake… a real boy, not another dog. 🙂 All this while, I was thinking… * I sure would like to find a morning devotion to get me started today * and then after scrolling through SEVERAL, I found yours. It is both up to date AND refreshing!
    My husband is pastor of a small congregational Methodist church. He also delivers newspapers 6 days a week. We’ve recently took in my grand baby and her teen-age mommy. Now have custody of the soon to be 17 yr old mom. Soon to have custody of the grand baby, who is 13 months old. We also have custody of my 8 yr old 3rd cousin. He’s been here since he was 3 yrs old. My BIRTH kids, as I call them are soon to be 27 and 30 in Dec. ( both sons )
    Shared all that to say this…. I NEEDED a pick me up, devotion I could relate to and fall into this morning. As all pastor’s families, we are always in need of prayer, so please do so.
    God Bless!

  2. Barbara
    May 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    What a wonderful encouragement to us to remember that our precious Lord is more than just name to Whom we pray; that He is also a Friend, and that He wants us to come to Him with everything, and let Him share the load. This made my humdrum day into something special!

  3. Sara
    October 6, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I’ve been struggling to find something fufilling in life. (I’m in college, by the way) I know drugs, excessive drinking, sex or bf are not the answers. I’ve grown up in a Catholic church and go to church and go to a Bible Study (absolutely love this one I’m in–my best friend can atest haha). I feel like I can compare different branches of Christianity and can see differences and which ones I like and don’t like; but I have found that I don’t know God. I struggle most with giving up control–I don’t trust that he will take care of things, sadly. I want to, but I don’t know how. This was encouraging, thank you!

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