Lift Up Your Eyes!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-4
If this pandemic has revealed anything to us, it is the foundation upon which we are standing. The waters have risen and many believers seem to have forgotten that the foundation under our feet is one of unshakable stone. Fear and uncertainty, however, makes our footing feel unstable, so we cast our gaze downward to try to find the next safe foothold as we walk a path through dark and unpredictable times. In doing so, we have taken our eyes off of our destination.
In Hebrews 11, Abraham was commended specifically because he was able to see past his current circumstances and see past the dying world he lived in knowing it was not his true home. He set his sights ahead to what God was building for him. He followed God in obedience at the expense of his worldly security. We, too, live in the same dying world as Abraham did. And we, too, have something greater on which to set our hearts and minds: the promise of eternal life in fellowship with God to those who believe.
Peter tells us about this promise and focuses on its unchangeable nature. Nothing in this world is anything like the inheritance we have through Christ. Not one thing around us is imperishable, incorruptible, or unfading. Everything passes from memory, given enough time. Our inheritance is not good health, a loving family, or comfortable life. So when we no longer have any of those things, we can still trust that God is all that is good because what He is guarding for us in heaven will never perish, spoil, or fade. We can have true joy, which isn’t based on our circumstances because our hope lies with Him. And He does not change.
Just a few verses later, Peter says that his readers love Jesus and believe in Him even though they have never seen Him. Because of their love and belief, they are filled with joy that is inexpressible and glorious. At the beginning of the letter, Peter reminds the people of their inheritance and the joy they have in Christ. A few verses later, Peter talks about how they are to behave in the face of deep hardship and oppression. In order to bear up under such burdens, the people must remember who they are in Christ and the promises He has made to them. His words are deeply beautiful and profoundly challenging.
Have you been filled with joy during these times? Not something as unremarkable as happiness, which comes easily and fades quickly, but an inexpressible and glorious joy. If not, is it possible that you have, for a time, lost sight of the true riches you possess in Christ which can never be taken from you? It is never too late to fix your eyes on Jesus. You can turn your eyes to Him because your footing is safe and secure. Remember that you stand on His promises.
Pray: Ask God to align your heart and thoughts to His so that you may walk in His ways, without fear and with inexpressible and glorious joy, in all seasons of life.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
First Baptist Broken Arrow