Where are your eyes fixed?

Do you ever get caught up in life’s circumstances so that it is difficult to see the forest for the trees? There can be so many situations in life that demand our focus and drag us down. Things such as a debilitating illness, alcohol or drug issues, a rebellious child, marital conflicts, job insecurities, depression, financial pressures, loss of loved ones and the list goes on and on with concerns that can make us feel powerless and immobilize us. There have even been stages in my life when my family has dealt with several of these overwhelming circumstances at one time! During these periods, it can seem impossible to avert our eyes from the struggle that is surrounding us.
 
Recently, I had an AHA moment relating to this very topic. I have been reading chronologically through the Bible (I guess it’s just the educator in me that likes to see things sequentially). Even though I had read this certain passage many times before, a story jumped out at me with force this time that I do not recall ever having caught my attention in the past. It always amazes me how the Holy Spirit opens our eyes at just the right moments! In this passage, Jehoshaphat is a King of Judah who, even though he messed up with a decision, was recognized as to “have set [his] heart on seeking God.” (2 Chronicles 19:3) Jehoshaphat’s overwhelming situation is that a vast army was coming against the people of Judah whose military had been weakened due to the aforementioned poor decision of their king. However, King Jehoshaphat inquired of the Lord and ended his 2 Chronicles 20 prayer with, “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Man, that line just jumped out at me when I read it, and I thought to myself, “Where are my eyes fixed?” He went on to humble himself and to lead his people in worship to the Lord. He appointed men to go to the head of Judah’s army saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As the army of Judah began to sing and praise God marching toward battle, the combined armies that had come against them rose up and fought each other so that “When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.”(v. 24) Wow…just wow! Our God is so much bigger than our circumstances!
 
In Hebrews 12:1-3 Paul gives us the secret to zooming our focus in the midst of our troubles. He writes, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” When we fix our eyes on Jesus and mentally focus on Him, even in the midst of our very real struggles, He will supernaturally perfect our faith and see us through the battles we face.
 
Written by Julie Crawford