We were born for such a time as this...every day brings news of war and rumors of war. We have a choice. We can focus on the world, the depressing news, our personal problems, or we can focus on God's Word. We can be depressed or we can be at peace. I wrote about this being our time to shine in this previous POST.
I knew a gentleman who lived in constant pain. I asked him how he kept such a happy demeanor. He said, "It's a choice. I can be depressed or I can be happy for all I have." I try to remember this when trials come my way.
Following is from a weekly email devotion by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies, used with her permission. She sends a weekly email that you can sign up for on her website. www.aboverubies.org
"Are you familiar with the words of the hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.? I’ll print them in full at the end of this devotion in case you are not familiar with them. The chorus says:
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
This is my prayer. I am sure it is yours too. God wants us to walk in an uplifted spirit. He does not want us to be “down in the dumps” and depressed. He wants us to be a “lifting up” and an “uplifting people,” in our homes and wherever we go. And because of this, God gives us lots of encouragement. The Bible speaks of ten areas He want us to lift up in our lives. Shall we look at these together?
- LIFT UP YOUR EYES
Where are your eyes today? Your physical eyes and the eyes of your heart? Are you looking at all you must accomplish today? Are you looking at your problems and dwelling on them?
Can I encourage you to change the direction of your eyes? When you look down, when you look at your problems, and you look at the mess around you, life seems overwhelming. But this is not the right place for your eyes. Lift your eyes, dear mother. Look up to Jesus. It’s amazing what happens when you look up to Him. Your circumstances may not change, but your attitude changes. Instead of living under your problems you will live above them!
During scorning and contempt from people, the Psalmist confessed: “Unto THEE lift I up mine eyes” (Psalm 123:1). He didn’t get into depression because everyone was against him. He found his victory in putting His eyes upon the Lord.
I think of the tragedy in David’s life when he and his army came back from battle to find their city of Ziklag burned to the ground. And worse—all their wives and children taken captive! The people wept until they had no more power to weep. They wanted to stone David they were so grieved. David was at his wit’s end, but then he “encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
Before this, David didn’t know what to do. But when he lifted his eyes to the Lord instead of the devastation around him, God showed him what to do. He gave him a plan and with God’s help they were able to rescue every wife and every child.
When your eyes are fixed on your problem you can’t even think straight, let alone know what to do. But when you lift your eyes to the Lord, trust Him, and rest in Him, you will hear His voice speaking to you. He will show you His plan and give you His peace.
Don’t you love 2 Corinthians 4:16-18? “For which because we faint not; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a FAR MORE EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY: while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Do you notice God gives five adjectives to describe the glory that He works in us as we go through our difficulties?
Psalm 34:5: “They looked unto him, and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed.”
Psalm 59:10,11 (KNOX): “TO THEE I LOOK, the God who strengthens me, the God who watches over me; my God, and all my hope of mercy.”
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
“Dear Father, I want to keep my eyes upon You. The things of this world are temporal. Why should I waste my time groveling over them? Help me to constantly keep my eyes upon You and Your truths and Your eternal values. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
My eyes are ever toward the Lord!
I’M PRESSING ON THE UPWARD WAY
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”