“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
We are living in tumultuous times. We watch the news. We spend time on social media. We aren’t spending time with our family of faith like we enjoyed just a few months ago. All of this may be driving us to a place of sadness, anxiety, even fear. Honestly, it is in this place I find myself this morning. Then comes the challenge of providing something for an email to be sent out to brothers and sisters in Christ. A message that might uplift, inspire, and encourage.
The need to write something is really a call to focus on Jesus. Turning my eyes upon Jesus shifts my perspective. Turning my eyes upon Jesus does not stop the rhetoric we read and hear. Turning my eyes upon Jesus does not change the guidelines or theories on COVID-19 and its impact on ministry or going about everyday life in a new and challenging way. Turning my eyes upon Jesus does not shut off the politics of our upcoming Presidential election.
No, turning our eyes upon Jesus does so much more than all of that. Just like God to do more than we can expect. More than we can imagine. Turning our eyes upon Jesus, shifts our perspective and does indeed change our reality.
We know a good bit about the world into which Jesus came. It was one in which the Jews were living under Roman rule. They were not in a place of favor in that time, unless you were the rare Jew that was also a Roman citizen. They were looking for a Messiah who would come as a conquering hero, one who would overthrow the Roman government. They were not looking for a carpenter’s son who died a death of humiliation on a cross on a hill outside of the city.
But God! God had a plan so much more marvelous that anyone of that time could have expected or imagined. God’s plan was the conquering of sin and death for all time for all who had faith in Jesus. Jesus brought hope to that world. And Jesus continues to bring hope to this world as well.
We are struggling with a virus. We are struggling with being able to work or go to school. We are struggling with wearing a mask and maintaining a six-foot distance from one another. We are struggling with being wary and at the same time living in a spirit of power and love and strong mind. We are in the between world times of fear and hope. There is really nothing new, or even “novel” under the sun. There is one thing we must never lose sight of and that is the hope we have in Jesus.
When you are discouraged, maybe even feeling a bit of anger and fear, I encourage you to “Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in his wonderful face. The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”