I always know when God is trying to get my attention when I hear a Bible verse or a concept repeated within a few days. Well, this time it’s the concept that I need to get my eyes off the problem and onto God.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:14-15
In short, Paul is encouraging young Timothy to keep his eyes on Christ because there isn’t any doubt that in his life there will be trials and persecution. This is also true for us today.
I’ve said before that I like to be in control of my life. I keep a calendar and a to-do list. I am always doing assignments weeks and weeks before they are due. I don’t like conflict and always seek peace. But when there’s not order or peace in my life because of a trial or strife I freak out!! It may be an internal freak out but I definitely freak out. I’m sure that God could tell you about my inner anxiety when something is wrong and I can’t fix it. And even though I know I can’t fix it, because I’m stubborn I still try. Now, I’m getting better but I will wrestle with God for a little while before I tire myself out and say “I give up!!!” I tire because I’m focused on my problem. I’m focused on getting my life back to whatever kind of peace I had before. But, it’s in those moments that I’m not supposed to take my eyes off the Lord but fix them on Him all the more. You see, the more we look at our problems the bigger they seem. But, when we lay them down at His feet, keep focusing on Him and His Word, letting Him take care of it, that problem suddenly doesn’t seem so big. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
I just thought back to my childhood and how I grew up watching VeggieTales. Just as I was typing these words I was taken back to the episode where Bob and Larry are singing to Jr. Asparagus about how God is bigger than the boogie man 🙂 Silly, yes, but a powerful message when we look at the concept behind that song. God is bigger than our monsters. He’s bigger than the conflict with your significant other. He’s bigger than your addictions. He’s bigger than death. He’s even bigger than Satan himself. Why wouldn’t we focus on Him instead of our problems? We’ve all tried to solve our problems on our own but failed every time. But we still keep trying. Why? Because all of us, including myself, lack trust. We lack the ability to not be in control. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Paul, again, clearly says to not be anxious about ANYTHING but to turn your eyes to God in prayer and that if we do that we will have the peace of God wash over us. That’s a much better feeling than anxiety and worry.