So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever (2 Corinthians 4:18 HCSB and GNB).
From the time you wake in the morning until you go to sleep at night, a multitude of things and people compete for your attention.
- If you have a job, pleasing management and keeping that job can be a constant concern.
- If you have a family, spouse and children want and deserve a good chunk of your time.
- If you are socially minded and volunteer either at church or in your community, what you have committed to demands your follow through.
These responsibilities can, at times, be overwhelming. Not only are you accountable for your commitments; in order to accomplish them you need to take care of yourself – eat well, sleep well, exercise and give yourself some down time.
Perhaps you have done everything you can to maintain good health, but you are not well. Perhaps you have lost your job, your marriage fell apart or your children do not want your companionship. Perhaps, as a Christian, you believe in the promises of God and know that He will work things out in due time for HIs glory. In the meantime, you want to know how to keep a proper perspective while you are waiting for “forever”.
Follow the Perfect Example
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 NASB).
Jesus, every bit as human as we are, set the example for us on how to stay focused on God with a ‘forever focus”. Every circumstance, meeting, and trial had an eternal perspective.
- Even as a young boy, He was focused on doing His Father’s will. His comment to His mother when she found Him in the temple at twelve was, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
- He was tempted just as we are, but HIs focus on God, His word and His will enabled Him to resist the temptations of the devil.
- Even though He got hungry just like we do, there were times when He was so focused on the Father’s will that He skipped eating. My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work (John 4:34 NASB).
- He needed sleep like the rest of us (so much so that He took a nap in the middle of a storm), but there were times when instead of sleeping, He spent all night in prayer.
- He was surrounded by many who wanted His attention. In compassion, He stopped and met their needs, demonstrating His power and the love of God as He did so, but He never forgot His mission.
- It seems contradictory to our senses that the author of Hebrews described His endurance of the cross as a matter of joy set before Him, but that was the way Jesus looked at it. Certainly, there was no joy in the cross itself. It was horrible and unjust. Christ’s focus, however, was always on what He knew would be accomplished once He endured the shame of the cross – the salvation of souls and the growth of His eternal family.
The circumstances of Jesus’ life on His journey to the cross – tempted by the devil in the wilderness, nowhere to lay HIs head, rejection by those He had created, misunderstood even by His followers – did not slow Him down because He never took His eyes off the Father and doing His will.
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21 NLT).
It should be the same with us. Just like Jesus, you choose each day what you will focus on. Know that whatever comes your way, if you are a child of God, He will make things right. Trust Him.
This life is not all there is.
Whenever this life on earth is over, those who rejected Jesus will experience an eternity without Him. Those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus will spend forever with Him. If you focus on Him now, your life will be so much richer than it would be otherwise. As a child of His, He is involved in your life now and He will be involved forever. He has promised to never – not ever – leave you or forsake you.
When your focus is on God and His forever purposes for your life, you start seeing life a little from HIs perspective. He knows the beginning from the end. He doesn’t reveal all there is to know about your future, but He doesn’t need to. Your experience with His faithfulness in your past is enough to trust Him for whatever will come in the future. He is not bound by time like we are so we know that what He says He will do will happen.
One of the reasons we have difficulty with a forever focus is because it is hard for us to see past the moment. We must, of course, live in the now, but having learned from the past, we can look to the future knowing that God is in control of it all.
I believe that this one focus is so important that my website is named One Focus Ministries and my blog One Focus. Naturally, this is a common theme throughout the devotionals and Bible studies on this site. Bible studies (under the Word Focus tab) One Day at a Time, Focus on the Shepherd’s Voice and Focus on Fullness of Joy and devotionals (under the Reflective Focus tab) Focus is a Choice, Trusting God: A Predetermined Choice and Trusting God Completely are a few examples of this theme. Every One Focus blog deals with seeing God’s hand in everyday life. We don’t need to wait until we have passed from the temporary to the eternal to experience a forever focus. Jesus showed us how that forever focus helps make sense out of today.
© Stephanie B. Blake