FIX YOUR EYES ON THE UNSEEN
Therefore 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.
—2 Corinthians 4:16-18
All of us are surrounded by something we cannot see or feel. Without this particular combination of gases, we would not be alive. I’m referring, of course, to our atmosphere. We can’t see the air or feel it but we know it’s there because we’re here to talk about it.
Many of us have allergy-related asthma problems that necessitate the use of inhalers and/or nebulizers to open up our airways so we can breathe better. Some people have problems breathing on their own for various other reasons and rely on respirators to help them breathe. Either way, the result is the same: we cannot see the air we breathe but we know it is there.
So it is with God. He is our unseen champion, the one who is always there to comfort and guide us through the rough spots in life. It is so easy to give in to the urge to grumble about our circumstances, but that never changes the situation. It just makes us feel worse about things.
In my own life, I am thankful for the blessing of Jesus Christ in my life. As my health has dramatically declined, my faith and reliance in Him has grown exponentially so that I have learned to trust Him for everything, even getting through each day: hour by hour, sometimes one minute at a time.
Even more than our parents love us and enjoy our company, God loves us and longs for close fellowship with each of us. That’s why He made us. When we fix our eyes on Him—even though we can’t see Him—we can trust Him to know what is best for us.
As we respond to His desire for a closer relationship with us, He will walk closer and closer with us, enabling us to fix our eyes on Him in joyful anticipation of seeing Him in heaven forever.
The wonder of it is this: the closer you walk with Jesus, the more you’ll start thinking like Him. And the more you start thinking like Him, the more fully you’ll experience that peace, hope and joy that can come only from Him.
I know I’ve shared this verse with you several times before but it has so much truth packed into just a few words that it is worth repeating.
I’ll always be thankful that God answered the cry of my heart one day with this particular Bible passage. The New King James Version was my Bible of choice at the time, so that translation of this verse is dear to me:
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. —Isaiah 26:3
I love the use of the word stayed in this passage! I am so thankful that God brings this and other passages to mind when I need them the most but I also keep this verse visible on the home page of my cell phone and written on cards posted in various places around the house.
How about you, Beloved? What Scripture passages spring to your mind when you’re grappling with tough situations? Please share!
Last week I received a surprise in the form of another blog award. It came on a day when I really needed something to make me smile.
Thank you, Betty, for giving me this award. You absolutely made my day!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen,having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. —Ephesians 1:3-14
This is for all of you Moms out there and for all of us whose Moms have already left this world.
The Lord took my Mom home six years ago but this is how I often remember her:
When I was growing up, one of the houses we lived in had built-in brick planters that bordered the front porch. Every year Mom would plant bright red geraniums in those planters—just like the ones in this photo. They made the entrance to our home look so pretty! I wish I had a photo of her standing next to those gorgeous geraniums but I guess that doesn’t matter because I’ll always have the memories in my mind and in my heart.
Beloved, whether your Mom is still here with you or dancing in heaven, what memory is your favorite about her?
I love and miss you Mom!
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places. —Habakkuk 3:17-19
For the past couple of years I’ve been keeping busy crocheting lapghans as therapy, plus it serves as a ministry. Somehow the process of crocheting seems to keep me from totally focusing on my pain. I have several patterns—some from actual patterns and some I make up as I go along—but they all have one thing in common: they are quick and easy to work up.
So here are my latest projects, displayed in a collage for your viewing enjoyment.
Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #7 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here and Part 6 here.
I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.
What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer
The need for sound doctrine –
Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”
Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”
Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”
Last Things: We believe that one day every person will stand before God’s judgment.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15—“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
Revelation 20:11-15—“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Beloved, thank you for journeying with me through this week’s look back at the foundations of what we as Jesus followers believe—in other words, why we believe what we believe. I hope you’ve enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.
Here is the bottom line for you to ponder: