Life is a series of mountains and valleys – it’s a combination of good times and bad times – it’s a mixture of opportunities and obstacles – if you’re a normal person you will experience in life times of depression – when you feel like everything is going wrong; and times of defeat – when you feel like giving up; and times of darkness – when you feel all alone.
But today is a time like no other when we feel all of these - at once! There is depression – we feel hopeless; there is defeat – we feel powerless; and there is darkness – we feel fearful!
But I am so glad I know God! While the reality of life as we have known it has changed, there is something we can count on that hasn’t changed – the reality of God! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! (Heb. 13:8) The one thing we can absolutely count on is that this does not change God! Whether happening to us directly or indirectly, this does not change who God is. Whoever God was last month, he is the same this month, whoever God was last year, he is the same this year! And I will place my faith in Him and I will trust Him for His promises – He will never leave me, nor forsake me (Heb. 13); He will be a shield about me, the lifter of my head (Ps. 3:3)!
The God who sees all things, knows exactly what is going on and He is still on His throne. He says to us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10)
The God who sees all things! That, I believe, is what makes the difference!
How do we get through these trying times? God says in His Word, you get through tough times by changing the way you look at them. In other words, by focusing on what we don’t see rather than what we do see. You change your perspective. You have to see your way through! Which means you have to see what God sees. And God, who sees all things, is not depressed, is not powerless and is not fearful. God says to each one of us, “See what I see! Get your focus off what you see and onto what you can’t see – me.”
Keep your eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 tells us we are to live, with endurance, whatever is set before us by, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
The Psalmist despaired of what he saw all around him, “until,” he says, “I entered the sanctuary of God” and saw things from God’s perspective. (Ps. 73:16-17)
In the Old Testament (2 Kings 6:15-17), Elisha’s servant despaired when he got up one morning to see himself and Elisha surrounded by an enemy army. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?”, he exclaimed. The prophet’s response was a calm: “Don’t be afraid… those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. Elisha then prayed, “open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (v. 17). So, “the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”.
Although things at first glance seemed bleak to the servant’s eye, but once he saw reality, God’s power proved greater than the enemy horde. And God has not changed!
We are told in 1 John 4:4 that “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world,” but you must have eyes that see to know that reality.
Jesus said to a doubting Thomas, who only believed after he saw and touched the visible wounds of Jesus, “Thomas, because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Peter reminds us that even when we face various trials, the genuineness of our faith is found in focusing on what we do not see: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” 1 Peter 1:8
2 Cor. 4:18 reminds us to “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
God, who not only sees all things, but oversees all things, is not surprised nor caught off guard by all this. He knows exactly what is going on, He is still on his throne (Ps. 103:19; 135:5-7; Isa. 45:7-9; Eph. 1:11; Col. 1:16-17; ) and “He will cause even this to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). In the midst of this crisis, God is calling out to every one of us, to see what He sees and to then trust Him.
May God open our eyes to get our focus off what we see and onto what we can’t see – Him!