Tag Archives: focus

Do Not Trust In What You See

Recently, I wrote a song that contains the lyrics, “Do not trust in what you see,” in the chorus. God continually brings this phrase to my mind as I pray for my loved ones who are facing challenges. There have been instances in which I felt as if God forgot to intervene or chose not to, and that is when the words, “Do not trust in what you see,” have served as a reminder that He is constantly working in the lives of people we are praying for. However, it can be difficult to remain strong in our faith when He is working in ways that we cannot see.

The lyrics of the first verse are: “Looking at our problems with human eyes, we don’t always realize that God is a god of miracles; specializing in impossible. When it seems like He is far away, when you can’t grasp why life’s working out this way – if we love and live for Him it’s understood: He’s working all things for our good.” 

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” When I do not see (with my human eyes) situations “working together for good” for the people I love, I can easily allow my faith in my all-knowing God turn into doubt. Doubt about whether God is actually fulfilling the promise to work things together for good can begin to cloud my regularly unswerving faith. (You know, the faith that is unswerving as long as God is answering prayers the way I think He should…) However, His good and our good often have different definitions. 

Our definition of good stems from looking at our life solely from our perspective and seeing how certain answers to prayer would benefit the people we are praying for. Our definition is very limited in scope. God’s is not. His definition of good comes from the perspective of seeing the entire universe of people, whom He longs to bring to salvation, and intertwining our stories together to form a beautifully designed tapestry. A tapestry that brings glory to His name. A tapestry in which the goodness of His plans for each and every one of us is woven beautifully throughout. 

When we can get to the point at which we trust in the goodness of God’s plans instead of “what we see,” that is truly…good.

 

Lord, help us to believe that You are working in our lives and the lives of our loved ones even when we have difficulty seeing Your hands. Help us to not trust in what we see, but to instead trust in Your goodness and Your promises.

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Dry Spells and Distractions

An extended length of time has passed since I have written a song. There have been phases in my life when new lyrics and new melodies seem to flow, but recently the songwriting well has been quite dry.
In all honesty, my spiritual life has been in a bit of a dry spell lately also. I do not think it is far-fetched to surmise there is a connection between feeling distant from God and the lack of a new tune bubbling up from my soul.
Throughout my life, the faith I have had in the fact that God loves me and has a plan for each and every one of us has not faltered. I stand on those facts, and since I was a little girl I have felt compelled to strive to live in a way that hopefully encourages others to believe more strongly in those truths as well.
However, lately I have struggled to align my feelings with my knowledge. I know He loves me and has that perfect plan…but I have not felt it as strongly or confidently as usual. Questions about being worthy of receiving answers to my prayers have flooded my soul. Questions of whether or not God is truly concerned about certain details of my life have blurred my vision. I have been distracted by my emotions.
Simply put, my eyes, my mind, and my heart have been focused on some difficult circumstances in my life instead of the One who is in control of those circumstances. Instead of the One in whom we can have confidence that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
There is a verse I take great comfort in. The Message version of 1 John 3:20 says this: “For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” God is greater than our worried hearts. We can, and should, put stock in the promises of God rather than the emotions that a number of us may give too much credit to.
Just because we do not feel God’s presence does not mean He isn’t with us. The truth is He is omnipresent. Just because we do not feel God’s love during certain times of our lives does not mean He has suddenly stopped loving us. The truth is He so loved the world He saved it through His Son. Just because we do not feel like God is answering our prayers does not mean He is avoiding us or our pleas. The truth is often He is working behind the scenes or in a different manner than we expect, because His ways are higher than our ways.
Focusing on facts, the Father, and faith very recently brought a new song (literally and figuratively) to my heart. It has also begun to reenergize my relationship with Jesus and bring some sprinkles of joy to this dry spell. A dry spell that is sure to soon come to an end. I can feel it. : )
I hope that this encourages any of you currently experiencing a dry spell, to believe that focusing on facts, the Father, and faith will bring a new song to your heart too.
Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him,” and that is precisely what my prayer is…that this new song might bless you. That it might cause someone to see the Lord, be in awe of Him, and strengthen their trust in Him.

 

Fix Your Eyes

Verse 1: You are trying to wait patiently in the middle of this mess. You are staring at the sadness and the struggle. You’ve forgotten God’s past faithfulness. Friend, your eyes are focused on temporary complications instead of our eternal God, who’s in control of every situation.
Chorus: Fix your eyes on your Father. He will never let you down. He works all things for our good as only God, our loving Father could. The burdens you’ve been asked to bear just simply don’t compare to the future that He has in store for you.
Verse 2: God knows just what your hurting heart needs. He calls on you to press on. Your faith will deepen. You’ll feel His strength, and He’ll refill you when it is gone. Friend, your eyes are focused on temporary complications instead of our eternal God, who’s in control of every situation. Chorus.
Bridge: Faith believes in what it cannot see – through every trial; every test. Faith believes in God’s sovereignty and that He knows what is best. Chorus. Fix your eyes on your Father.

What Do You Know?

In this world, there have always been and will always be events and happenings that we simply cannot understand and explain this side of heaven.

When my son, Brady, was a little boy, there were nights he struggled to quiet his ever-wondering mind. Through the years, there were nights I wondered if his mind was allowing his body to get much-needed rest! He would call me and/or his father, Darren, to his bedroom to share with us what was on his mind and was preventing him from going to sleep. He looked at us with his big blue eyes, seeking an answer. Sometimes we had one. Unfortunately, sometimes he stumped us, and the answer was, “I don’t know.” He started a mental list of questions he was going to be sure to ask God when he meets him in heaven. 🙂

In trying times, when your mind is trying to process and understand the unknown, you may have some sleepless nights asking God for answers. Maybe you’ve also made a mental list of questions to ask God when you someday see Him face to face.

In the last few years, I’ve been trying to shift my mind’s focus from the unanswered questions to what I know for sure. I do know that God loves me with an indescribable love. I do know that God is in control. I do know that God has a plan for my life, and that He wants me to trust Him on that.

A few years ago, I wrote a song entitled, “Perfect Love,” in which the lyrics of the chorus state: “I don’t know why bad things happen, and I don’t know the answers to the questions that are plaguing you. But I do know the One with all the answers, and I do know that He loves you, and He loves me, and He wants us to trust in His love; His unchanging, unfailing, all-knowing, perfect love.”

Focusing on a God that loves us with an unchanging, unfailing, all-knowing, perfect love instead of focusing on trying to figure out why we are in the midst of a difficult situation will certainly bring His peace to our troubled mind.

Focusing on a mental list of things that we know for sure can give us strength to face the next difficult situation with an assurance that we can convey to others. In this unpredictable world, that mental list can certainly help us feel anchored when the waves are threatening to overtake us and send us reeling in a sea of doubt and confusion.

I’m praying for you today. I’m praying that God overwhelms you with His Holy Spirit’s presence, perspective, and peace, and that you will see how amazing it is to rely on the constant Rock of Ages in this uncertain world.

I’m especially praying that when you face your next unknown, and all the “why” questions attempt to intimidate your peace of mind, your new mental list of things you know for sure comes to the forefront. May God’s indescribable love for you be at the very top, and may that fact always bring you rest.