The great Biblical antidote to the negative feelings created in us by winter lockdown is to fix our eyes on Jesus. It is to turn our thoughts towards him and, if we have lost connection with him through the challenges we face, to consciously bring ourselves back into relationship with him.
When Peter took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink. When his eyes were on him, he could walk on water, but as soon as he looked at the wind and the waves he began to sink.
Hebrews 12:1-3 tells is that a key aspect of resilience is to deliberately fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. His example of endurance can inspire us to keep going, and as The Message puts it, ‘will shoot adrenaline into your souls!’ We can find stamina to run the particular race marked out for us by turning to him. There is no promise that our race will be easy or short. It is a marathon, and we need to summon up every ounce of strength, so we do not grow weary or lose heart.
To fix our eyes on Jesus is to make him the focus of our attention. We are not to look at our self, for there is no hope within us. We are not to look at our circumstances for they may be hard and daunting and only make us despair. Neither are we to look to other people for they cannot save us. We need to see Jesus, risen, ascended and glorified and to know that he is in control. ‘At present we do not see everything subject to him (God). But we do see Jesus, who made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour (Hebrews 2:8-9).’ Consider him, that is think deeply about him, what he has accomplished, and how he waits to help you today.
To fix our eyes on Jesus is to make him the object of our affection. We are to fall in love with him again and again. This is the essence of worship, and when we worship gradually the focus will shift from earth to heaven, from ourselves in our need to Jesus in his all sufficiency. Don’t let your affection be elsewhere. In difficult times we must return to our first love and engage with him not just in our minds but in our hearts as well.
‘I fix my eyes on You’ is a beautiful song by Carol Lee Sampson and has been helping me to weather the storm, reminding me to fix my eyes on Jesus. Why not find it on You Tube? Do take a moment to listen to it, perhaps more than once. Allow it to minister to your soul today. Linger in God’s presence so that ‘the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.’