During our deepest times of trial, we may be tempted to search for every answer while we cry out with every “why.” But, if we will still our hearts and quiet our souls while we endure, it is quite possible to hear from God during them. It’s funny how much louder I can hear His voice when I soften my own.
His eyes are always looking on our pain.
He is never helpless.
He may not see it fitting to change the course of the trial as we might hope, but His everlasting arms are always available to hold us securely and bring us peace when there is no easy escape. There will even be times when we look to Him and cry, “I want to go Home…” He knows. He’s anxious for us to join Him there as well, but for now He asks us to trust Him while we are being refined into His image. Our responsibility is to stay steadfast and keep our eyes on the outcome –
our eternal hope.
It’s so hard to think that way on a daily basis as the waves of life threaten to knock us down. This life crowds in and threatens to steal our focus; it happens so easily. Humor me for one minute longer as you see these words in front of you. Read a few lines from them entirely focusing your attention on the screen in front of your face. Without altering your focus, notice that the things in the room outside of the screen are blurry. Now, keeping the screen in the same spot, raise your eyes and focus on something across the room that seemed blurry a moment ago while you focused on the words. As it becomes clear, notice that the screen is now blurry. No matter how hard you try, it is simply impossible to achieve clear focus on both at one time. You must choose to focus on what is right in front of your face or on what is in the distance.
Friend, our perspective is like that.
When we set our gaze on the here and now, we cannot have an eternal perspective. What is in front of our face will crowd in on us and we will not be able to view it in the context of God’s bigger picture. But, when we set our minds to have an eternal perspective, eternity becomes clearer as we take our eyes off of our situations and learn to focus on God’s greater plan.
This way of looking forward to what lies ahead and finding peace in it, even during the darkest storms, is about heart focus –
it never happens by chance.
This takes training and practice; it’s an intentional choice to look to God for how He can use our trials in our lives and in the lives of others. Our endurance not only refines our own lives, but becomes a large part of our testimony as well. As those around watch how we endure, we have an opportunity to reach them and bless the Lord. Our trials are not only useful to us once we reach the other side of them. Sometimes, right in the middle of our own storms, we can be the brightest light of hope to others as they go through storms of their own.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4