Monday, January 12, 2009

FOCAL POINTS

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross" - Hebrews 12:1,2
Prior to giving birth to my four kids, my husband and I attended a Lamaze class. One of the things that I remember being taught in this class is the technique of concentrating on a special object that I had brought to the delivery room. Focusing intently on this object during each labor contraction was suppose to help me shift my attention away from the pain of labor.

Many of you are familiar with what I am talking about.

You also brought something special to the hospital with you, maybe a stuffed animal or something that symbolized the joy of the new life that was about to come forth. Of course, this technique never brought complete relief from the pain, but trying to not think of the pain would help somewhat.

Persevering through the pain of labor would soon be worth it. Holding that new, beautiful life in our arms would soon prove John 16:21 to be true...

JOHN 16:21 "A woman, when she in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world."

How quickly the remembrance
of the pains of labor are forgotten.

When we as Christians are faced with trials and sufferings...God gives us two wonderful focal points to help us persevere...

1. God encourages us to fix our eyes upon Jesus...
  • We can take our mind off of our own suffering by remembering what Christ suffered for us.
  • We can meditate upon the teachings found in the Bible about living a godly life despite hardship and pain.
  • We can focus on the example of humility of Christ. Focusing on how we can be humble before others, how to turn the other cheek and how to forgive those who have hurt you.
2. God invites us to do as Jesus did and fix our eyes on the promise of what is to come...

  • The joy of heaven will get you through your ordeal just as it did Jesus.
  • Moses and Paul both kept their eyes on their eternal home.
  • Such examples remind me that joy of heaven will certainly wash away the memories of pain.
WHAT IS YOUR FOCAL POINT TODAY?

are you focused on your problem?

or the promises of God?

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Amen! What a powerful, encouraging post today.

It is easy sometimes to lose focus with all that is going on around us and within us during those trials. If we lose focus, we don't need to beat ourselves up...we just have to stop, refocus and get our eyes back on Jesus Christ. The One who already has the answer to our problems and they didn't catch Him by surprise.

Beth in NC said...

That is a great comparison. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we tend to focus on ourselves and our "problems" ...

Great reminder!

Love,
Beth

Debbie said...

Great points! I think of Peter as he walked toward Jesus on the water. When he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the reality of where he was, he started to sink. That's how I get when I focus on the circumstances instead of keeping my focus on Him.

Laurie Ann said...

Such wisdom, encouragement and inspiration found in this post! Thank you for sharing your heart with us today, Laurie. I love it. He should be our focus!