Read with me, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’’ 1 Corinthians 2:2
Being faced with hardships such as illness, poverty, loss, and disappointment often times derail our thought life. Why’s and how’s and what if’s run rampant in our minds, wreaking havoc in our hearts. In the face of suffering, when our hearts become heavy, it becomes easy to look at our lives as hopeless, it becomes the norm to look at ourselves and see insufficiency, it can subsequently become a habit to look at our lives and feel only despondency. Lately, during illness and suffering the after effects of it, I so clearly hear God say to me, “What do you see?” This reminded me of Jeremiah. God asked in Jeremiah 1, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” Jeremiah responded “I see the branch of an almond tree,”, and God answered Him like this, “You have seen well, because I am watching over my word to perform it.” God’s question came back to me, and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with a holy desire to see well. I have such a pressing desire to see Him fulfill His word to me, to see Him be glorified in my life. Yet, in the face of oppression I leaned toward the idea that He was somehow distant and my prayers were out of reach of His hearing. I was looking at Him, but I was not beholding. I was looking at Him, but seeing only my own needs. While looking at myself I was measuring Him according to how well I was feeling and doing. Seeing well comes from knowing what we are looking at.
Knowing Him, really truly experientially knowing Him directs vision and direction. We get to know Him through reading His word. Scripture is breathed on by God, and is a lamp for our feet so we can see where we are going. Scripture reveals Christ and the truth of His nature. When faced with difficulty, it is imperative to have a default thought pattern that yields itself to looking to Jesus. The instance hardship arises it would facilitate your faith process if you immediately turned your thoughts to the Word. The word is truth. Just as in Jeremiah, the answer is in front of you, what are you looking at? While looking at the mountain in front of you, do you know that He is still God? Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:2. I love this Scripture! Keep your eyes fixed and focused on the one who endured! The One, who endured opposition for joy, is the very one who authors and finishes your faith! Now, what do you see? Do you see that you can face anything? Look at Him, let Him initiate faith in you, and endure so your joy might be full.
What do you see when viewing your life and God? The answers to your needs are in what you already have. You have the Spirit! The Spirit testifies of Christ and His suffering, His victory, and sufficiency. So, when hardship arises, we look to the Word. We look for Christ in the Scripture, we look for what He would have said or done, or we just rest in the knowledge of what He has already accomplished – He has won it all. He is acquainted with suffering, He is a man of sorrows, and we do not ever have to be ashamed of having to process through emotions and doubt. But continual suffering is a choice. We can rest in the finished work, knowing He has given us all things that pertain to this life, to a Godly life. We do not have to beg and plead, we just need to know. Determine today to know He is enough. Make the choice to know Him, in everything you face. Know He is present, He is kind, He is just, He is for you.
What are you looking at, what are you seeing? What are you listening to, what are you hearing? What do you have? You have the fullness of Christ. You have Him. You need nothing else. Keep your eyes fixed and focused on Him, the author and finisher of your faith. He is the answer. When faced with difficulty, we do not look for reasons to justify suffering. We know Christ. Determine to know Him. Determine to seek Him, to see Him, to Hear Him. Know him. In suffering, know Him, in want, know Him, in everyday life, know Him. Experientially know Him. Know He is good. Wait on Him, feel Him, and Know Him.
Pray with me, “Thank you Jesus that You have shown us that there is joy at the end of endurance. I pray that You will reveal Yourself to me in a new way. I want to know you, wholeheartedly. I acknowledge You as the most important part of my life. Direct my life, I want to live a life that reflects intimate knowledge of who You are. I love You, Lord. I adore You.”