“What are YOU looking at?” the great bullying question of all time. Many a nonsensical fight has been started with those words as they are asked out of hatred. Today, I ask you those same words, but I ask from a heart of love that longs for your view to be improved. So in faith and love I ask, “What are YOU lookin’ at?”

These are not easy times in our world. Many hard things are happening and with the onset of social media we know in a flick of a finger what evil is happening in every corner of the world. Add to that the fact that disease and illness is so prevalent in our times that not one of us is untouched by hard times.  It is times like these that leave us clinging to the hem of Jesus’ robe, using it to wipe away our tears and wrapping ourselves in His loving embrace.

I recently awoke with heaviness in my heart. In my morning devotional time God reminded me that Jesus is with me ALWAYS even in our broken heart times. He tells us in His Word:

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

I appreciated that reminder, but the heaviness in my heart continued. I took it to work with me and could not shake it. I was irritated to the hilt and near tears all day. I chose Joy in my mind, but it would not flow to my spirit. It was a frustrating and exhausting day. Add to that the put-down “logic” of my brain telling me to “get over it” because there were people that were REALLY suffering in the world, not just feeling low. I prayed and I asked for prayer from friends, yet I remained heavy hearted.

By the time I got home from work, I was physically exhausted and went to bed at 6:30 PM, literally. I climbed in bed at 6:30 not knowing what else to do with myself, and my mood. I rested for about a half hour, then received a text from a dear friend walking through deep loss. I continued to text with my beloved and hurting friend. After praying for her and her family I got out of bed. I did some household chores, watered my garden and did some planting that was needed. While I was doing these things I put on hymns played on piano. The hymns started to loosen the heaviness in my spirit. I was able to refocus by singing along to the piano, not knowing all the words, but feeling them in my spirit. Being out in nature brought me closer to God. I was thankful for how He makes things grow and how beautiful this world is that He has given to us. I switched my focus to a mode of praise and my spirit lifted a bit more.

Then, the sun began to set. I decided to just SIT and watch the beautiful sunset, so I did. I did not do anything else but sit with my piano hymns playing and witness God’s handiwork of the skies changing moment by moment. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began to play and peace grew in my spirit as I soaked in the song. Then, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” played and peace overwhelmed me. I just sat and soaked in the message of that song and was deeply blessed. I continued to watch the sunset and continued to sing that song in my heart.

After my soaking in the Spirit, I went to bed, exhausted but feeling the peace and comfort of God in my being, as if He, Himself, had given me a hug to take my burdens unto Him and lighten my heart. I awoke the following morning feeling like the joy-filled me I knew. When I sat down to read my devotional, Jesus Always, my heart burst with love for our Great and Amazing God! That day talked about not being discouraged and not being fearful. The devotional literally said “Fix your gaze on Me.” I about fell off my devotionarium chair! I laughed out loud and my spirit overflowed with how much God loves me and how when I am focused on HIM I can breathe and walk and yield to His Spirit.

Dear one, if you are feeling lost, lonely, sad, afraid, or any combination of those, I ask you again, “What are YOU lookin’ at?” If you are staring at all the bad things in this world or all the bad things in your life, you will be bereft of Joy and Lonely of Heart. Rather than focus on the bad, I encourage you to focus your eyes on the Author and Perfecter of your faith, Jesus. He will Never Leave You, He will Never Forsake You and He knows how you feel. Look away from this natural realm, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus and let His Truth and Love permeate your being to the depths of your soul. In Hebrews 12:2 (TPT) it says this:

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because His heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be His, He endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

This verse teaches us that we can learn from Jesus in that He was focused on the JOY of us being His – NOT the agony of the cross. Our Savior had to FOCUS His mind on things above to endure the hardship of the cross. Nothing we have to endure in this life is equal to the agony of the cross and it is true that looking away from your problems and the bad stuff in this world will not make it all go away. Instead, it will fade in comparison with the Glory of God and as you Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, your burdens will lift as you give them to God to carry.

Let me share the lyrics of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus with you here: (my favorite version is the ‘ol version by Alan Jackson)

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

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.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

The refrain of this hymn keeps repeating in my mind and flowing from mouth in song. It is a short and easy refrain and I encourage you to learn it, sing it and soak it in. Let your eyes turn to Jesus and Stand Firm on His Promises. He holds you in the palm of His scarred hand and loves you MORE than you can EVER imagine. Give your burdens to God and watch them grow strangely dim…

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.

Blessings and Love to you,