Updated: Nov 15, 2021
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of this life will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace" (Helen Lemmel, 1922)
To look at the world around can be such a hope / joy drain. What to do? What to do? Even the people who claim to know and trust God and have faith seem to live without real, substantial hope and power in their lives in these uncertain times ...living in fear about almost everything. But that's what happens when we look at the world around us... when our focus is horizontally oriented. There are bumps in the road ahead and mountains looming that block our view of what lay beyond. ...what is promised. We are facing circumstances and situations from an earthly and eye level perspective. We know the promised land is ahead, but all we can see is that flooding Jordan river that separates us from it!
I hate air turbulence. When flying on a plane, it doesn't matter how many times I've flown, I am totally unnerved by turbulence. Everything in me clenches. I may turn to Steve for some assurance that we are not going to fall out of the sky, but honestly, I know he doesn't know. I look around for the flight attendants. They know. I look at their eyes. Is there any alarm there? Do they look calm? If they look relaxed, "business as usual" I can calm down and know that things aren't as bad as the circumstances appear.
When I look around at our world from my horizontal perspective what do I see? Politics and division. Lies and slander. Intolerance and hate. Desperation and destruction. Poverty and abuse. Addiction and rejection. Hopelessness. From my point of view it can be overwhelming. Thankfully God's Word has addressed all the issues that we will see on this earth and He has shared His heart for all mankind while we deal with them.
...some things He has said about...
Politics - God, not any man, is The Ultimate Authority over this world. God doesn't do politics. He rules and will not be impeached or voted out.
2 Chronicles 20:6 "O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.
Division - We are all His children, created through Him, loved equally, valued equally. If someone is telling us otherwise, they lie.
Titus 3:10-11 "as for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."
Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them".
Lies and Slander - When someone lies about us, God is our defense and our vengeance. They WILL answer to Him for what they do. We must just stand right before Him and let Him handle the rest.
Psalm 43:1 "Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked".
Psalm 101:7 "No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence."
Intolerance and Hate - God is the Judge. We are to bear with one another in love.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching".
Ephesians 4:2 "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love..."
Desperation and Destruction - When we hold on to Him, we are held. We will not be shaken and we will be protected.
Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 50:15 "And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
Poverty and Abuse - God fights for the poor and abused. We are often the hands He uses.
Psalm 103:6 "The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed."
Proverbs 31:8-9 "Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy".
1 John 3:17 "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"
Addiction - Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. AND He gives everyone the means to get freedom from bondage. Don't toy with it.
1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything."
1 Corinthians 10:13-14 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry."
Rejection - Though circumstances may look or feel bad and lonely, He holds us close and doesn't leave us alone or push us away. Though we fall, He will strengthen us to rise again....and again.
Psalm 34:18-20 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hopelessness - His Spirit in us gives us hope
Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope".
And if these things He has said (amongst many others) tell us His heart for us and His hand under and over us, then what do I see when I look in His eyes? What if I look up and lock eyes with the One who has a different perspective than my horizontal one?... A Vertical perspective. ...an all encompassing view? What do I see in the eyes of the One who can see beyond the bumps in the road and the mountains that loom and the other side of the river? What can happen in my heart and mind when I look into those eyes and see no alarm, no fear, no worry, no hate, no bondage, no rejection, no accusation?
I See Only Love.
Keep looking to Jesus. Though eyes shift and mind wanders, keep turning your gaze and focus back to him. See the ever present love looking back. Live in such a way that guilt and shame do not cause you to look away from him... but when you fall, look up, grab His hand, get up. Don't let busyness or distraction drag you away from being still and just looking at him. Be still in his peaceful presence. Be secure in his almighty presence. Notice the warmth of his gaze. Notice the twinkle of joy in his eyes as he looks at you. He sees you as you truly are... washed clean, righteous, flawless. His beautiful creation. ...that He would die for.
See him. Almighty. Protector. Provider. Powerful over all creation, over all authorities, over the physical (horizontal) and spiritual (vertical) realms. Rest Here.
Is there anything I can fear that he cannot take care of for me? Is there anything I need that he cannot provide? Is there anything I may suffer that he cannot heal? All the concerns, fears, wants, needs, desires, distractions, and matters in this earthly life fall into perfect order under his majestic authority. Nothing can compare with him. Nothing can compete with him. Nothing can overcome him.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of this life will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace"