We Need to Keep Our Focus

by Ted Kyle

In the hurly-burly of life—and most especially when the bad times seem to just keep rolling in like ocean waves, we need constantly to adjust our focus back to God's big picture.

It does no good at all to ask, at the moment of extreme pressure, "Why, God?" Be certain He has His reasons, but our hearts and minds are probably not ready to accept them at this particular moment. For now, it is a time for faith to assert itself. Not "Why me, God" or "Why now, God?" but "So be it, dear Father." Later on, when the time for calm reflection has arrived, it may be that God will show us His purpose in that test. Or perhaps that knowledge will not come until much later. Only our Father knows the right timing.

But when that answer comes, I feel certain it will have to do with our growth in Christian character, and very likely in particular to do with testing. James cautions us to "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials" (James 1:2). Did you hear him? "Consider it all joy!" He wants us to see that what is happening should be a source of genuine joy to us. Let's think about that:

We should find joy in knowing we are sharing, in some small measure, the sufferings of our Lord Jesus.

We should find joy in realizing that, far from hating us, God loves us enough to help us become more Christ-like. He seeks to remove our impurities, so that the pure gold of Christ's character may shine out of us.

We should find joy in going deeper into our faith reservoir and clinging to our heavenly Father's promises, such as Isaiah 41:9: "I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."

But let us follow James a little further: "knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

There it all is. Oh, dear God, give us the maturity to recognize your purpose in allowing these tests. Give us the long-focus view of them!<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

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