Rivet Your Eyes on Christ

Recently a banker told me that our current financial crisis is the worst he’s seen in his lifetime.

A man in our church recently watched his investments plummet $20,000.  Another mentioned that retirement had been on his radar screen, but now it seems to have sunk into the horizon.

When billionaire Warren Buffet feels his blood pressure rising or his nerves on edge, he calms himself by looking at snapshots of his family or playing a game of bridge with his friends. (The Intelligent Investor, Oct 18, 2008)

Husband: Honey, we’ve lost everything.  My retirement’s gone, and our investments are down the toilet.

Wife: Here, dear, why don’t you look at some photos of your grandchildren?

Husband: Ahh, my grandchildren….Arghhhh! They’re doomed!  I got nothin’ for them!  They’ll be forced to work in sweat shops and stand in bread lines!

Whether it be our finances, a wayward teen, health challenges, or anything else that tempts us to fear, God’s Word has a much better solution than playing bridge or looking at photos:

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (IS 26.3-4)

To keep the mind stayed on God is to anchor our thoughts on God’s character and promises, to continually look to him, pray to him, and hope in him.  One way to set our minds on God is to worship him for his attributes.  For example, “Lord, I praise you, that you are all powerful – you can meet my needs.  You are unchanging in your faithfulness, mercy and steadfast love.  And even in this trial, you have compassion on me as a father on his children.”

We must keep our eyes on Christ, not our circumstances:

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” (MT 14.28-30)

As long as Peter kept his eyes fastened on Jesus, he was able to walk on water.  But when he shifted his eyes from Jesus to the wind, he began to sink.

If we’re always checking the market, the polls, or the paper more than our bibles, we’ll sink.  You’ll never hear a newscaster say, “The Dow Jones dipped 700 points today, but don’t worry, God’s in control!” Or, “We’re on the verge of a world-wide depression, but don’t fear, God feeds the sparrows; surely he’ll care for us.”

So rivet your eyes on Christ and He will guard your heart with his peace that surpasses understanding.

photo by paulperton

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks Mark. I needed to hear this again this morning. I’m so glad my God is a Rock that’s secure in the middle of all these storms of life. Here are a few verses that have really helped encourage me as I’ve been attempting to preach truth to my battered emotions lately.

    Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

    *I’m so glad He cares!! :)

    Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

    *Wow. So often I don’t know what to say or how to pray. This promise is such an encouragement and help to me!

    Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    *The same God that led the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt… the One who didn’t forsake them in the wilderness but instead fed them… He’s the same God leading me now.

    Isaiah 26:3-4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

    *He’s the One keeping me. He’s the Rock. He’s worthy of every ounce of trust my weak body can give.

    Mark 9:23-24 And Jesus said to him “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

  2. says

    Wow! Mark, you don’t know how timely this is! God is so amazing! Thank You for allowing Him to use you.
    My wife and I recently found out that her 16 year old son (my stepson) and his girlfriend are pregnant, that on top of a very tumultuous few months of conflict with him.
    Even though my circumstances have been less than appealing I know that God is Sovereign. Isaiah 45:7 says “I form light and create darkness, I make well being and create calamity, I am the Lord who does all these things.” Good times and bad times are all in His hands, He’s in control even when it seems He’s left us high and dry. These temporary and light afflictions are preparing us for an eternity where all of these trials will fade away, what a glorious day that will be!!
    You’re right Mark, we have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not the waves of our circumstances, He’s in control and nothing can snatch us out of His hands! I’m so thankful for that and I’m very thankful for your encouraging words this morning!
    Blessings
    Ron Reffett

  3. says

    Ps. 7:11 says that God “displays his wrath every day.” We expect much of God, but not always the things we should expect. We expect he owes us grace. We expect he exists to serve us. Tough times check and try our expectations.

  4. says

    Hi Emily,

    The verses you mentioned are excellent to keep meditating on! I know our Lord will keep you in his perfect peace.

    Ron,

    Thank you for your humility. I’m glad you were encouraged. One pastor friend of mine recently told me that our challenges with our kids are more about us than them, and for our sanctification. And they are opportunities for us to show them the love of Christ, and his forgiveness, to identify with them as sinners (and worse sinners than them) and point them to the Savior. I know Jesus is going to help you and give you grace, Ron.

    Dee Dee,

    Thank you!

    Jon,

    You’re right, God doesn’t owe us anything, but I’m so glad he pours out his grace on us. And for believers there remains no more wrath, since Jesus took it. This comforts me, and assures me that all my trials are for my good, even painful ones. And you are right, tough times sure do test and reveal our hearts and expectations.

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