“This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (niv)
Are you able to find comfort in your relationship with Jesus? How can knowing Him intimately move your emotions from fear to peace?
Our faith as believers isn’t just a passport to heaven; eternal life doesn’t just start when we die. It begins here on earth as we make Jesus the center of our lives. The importance of knowing God and focusing on Him is described in John 17:3. How can we stop being preoccupied by our worries and problems and learn to take comfort in Jesus? It begins as we cultivate a lifestyle of praise.
We’re not talking about praise as just a few worship songs sung at the beginning of a service, but a God-ward focus in the midst of whatever we’re facing. It’s all about getting our eyes off the mountains … and focus on the mountain mover.
This doesn’t mean denying your real feelings. You may be experiencing intense feelings of fear or sorrow. It’s expressing your distressing emotions (including worry, despair, guilt, fear, or anger) to God—yet choosing to keep proclaiming who He is and turning to Him in spite of how things look—and not postponing this until you feel better. It’s moving toward the Lord instead of away from Him in your distress and developing a faith that goes beyond your feelings.
At first you may start to thank God with little trickles, but if you persist, even in the darkest of places, you will find those trickles of faith will turn into a fountain. Your attitude can turn from anxiety to trust. You may even begin to see your situation differently: Praise can heighten your awareness that distressing circumstances are God’s blessings in disguise. Your trials rip away the flimsy fabric of your self-sufficiency. This makes room for God’s Spirit to weave into your life a true and solid confidence—the kind of confidence that Paul expressed in Philippians 4:13: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (nkjv).
When we focus on God and proclaim who He is, we begin to see clearly who’s in control. Our focus is drawn from the complexity of the problem to the adequacy of God’s infinite resources.
Lord, help me to find comfort in You. Help me to experience peace and rest in my relationship with You. Amen.
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