Have you ever been driving at night and allowed the headlights of the oncoming vehicle to catch your focus? I have and the result was the noise of a loud horn (and probably a hand gesture by the driver of the other vehicle I couldn’t see because it was dark) and me coming to myself jerking the steering wheel to get back in the center of my lane.
What happened? I started to drift toward my focus, the headlights of the oncoming vehicle which almost caused a head-on collision.
We all go through difficult seasons of life, especially now, and our focus during these trying times is crucial. And let me go ahead and say that my focus hasn’t always been where it needs to be during these trials of life and I’ve ran head-on into my struggles. When this happened I was consumed with my struggle and the peace and joy of God was absent. Or in other words I became discouraged and depressed. All because the struggle became my focus!
The Bible points out that life is not without struggles.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Rejoice in my problems and trials? I don’t know about you but my problems don’t usually have that effect on me. But that’s because initially my focus isn’t where it should be when I encounter these difficult days. Such as what COVID-19 has brought us!
But where should my focus be? The above verses tell us that when problems and trials arise they are developing us, so should I be focused on ME?
If you stop and think about it isn’t that really our natural response to our problems and struggles. We become focused on the problem and on self, causing us to become self-absorbed. And that never leads to rejoicing. In fact most of the time it leads to a pity party instead of a praise party!
So our focus should be where? ON GOD! During the crisis we must fight to give God all our attention.
If you want to walk through your struggle, and come out the other side victorious, you’ve got to focus on God! Remember His love for you and be confident that your hope in Him will not lead to disappointment.
Now I don’t believe God causes our trials and tribulations but He does use them to develop us and never forget that in the midst of your storm, God is there “in the boat” and He really wants to fill our hearts with His love.
Here’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience and from working with many people as a pastor. During the storms of life you will either draw closer to God or your heart will move further from God!
God doesn’t move, the Bible says that He never leaves us or forsakes us. God is faithful and He loves us with unconditional love. Something else to never forget is that God is for us, even in our struggles.
So what should be my expected outcome when I focus on God and draw closer to Him?
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:11)
I love it! When God becomes my focus, joy arises in my heart, I experience His pleasures and receive His direction for my life. And the greatest thing I discover is that God is much bigger than my struggles.
I don’t know about your “storm” today but I do know God is near. Focus your attention on Him and you will be full of joy and peace. Even in the midst of the storm.
One last Bible verse to keep in mind.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
God is working, trust Him and keep your focus on Him! It’s time to Dream…….Again!