The world around us just keeps looking more and more bleak doesn’t it? It feels like maybe Covid will end soon and we can return to normal. Oh wait, there’s another strain of the virus and here we go again. There’s racial tension, wars, earthquakes, snow storms, political unrest, gas prices sky-rocketing and it feels like the list just keeps growing.
Maybe you’ve learned how to deal with everything being shut down from the pandemic, but then one more thing comes. A child gets sick and you don’t know what it is; you get a cancer diagnosis; your family is struggling to make ends meet; you have gone way too long without being able to be around people; or you’ve missed seeing/making friends. This is a new season of life for literally everyone, and it can take its toll on our minds.
My husband spoke not too long ago from 2 Chron. 20:12 where it says, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you”. This reiterates everything God taught me throughout my cancer journey … both times! With cancer there’s literally nothing I could do except listen to the doctors and make the best game plan that worked to prayerfully keep me alive. Then it’s just a mind game from there on out. I learned that when I kept my eyes deadlocked on Jesus, it kept my mind from thinking about the worst-case scenario. But once the cancer journey “ended”, I’m left to pick up the pieces and try to have a normal life — although it never really returns to normal. That’s the phase our world is in right now — longing for normal. However, I’m not so sure we’ll ever return to the normal we once knew. But, here’s the good news. One thing that will never be taken away from us is our ability to change our focus — our perspective. When we don’t know what to do, if we choose to put our eyes on Jesus, we can’t lose! Because Jesus has ALREADY won. If you have asked Jesus to come take up residence inside of you then you already know that this is not our home. One day we will be able to live forever with our King!
Back to the verse. Another cool thing about this passage is that not only did Jehoshaphat choose to keep his eyes on God Almighty, but he put the praise and worship team at the front of the army! You might be thinking wait, wait, wait, if I were on the praise and worship team I would NOT want to be at the front. But here’s why. They were going to praise their way through this battle!
I watched a testimony on YouTube about the girl that wrote the song, Catch the Wind. This girl suffered from a chronic illness and she kept pleading for God to rid her of this pain. She very plainly heard God tell her, “I want you to sing your way out”. After hearing this a couple times, she finally started singing the words to Catch the Wind. And this is exactly what God wants you to do right now. He wants us to sing our way out. Singing didn’t completely heal this girl of her pain, but it changed her heart! Singing your way out won’t necessarily change the war going on in Ukraine, it might not fix your financial situation or rid you of cancer. But, it will change your heart/perspective to be fixed on Jesus.
Maybe you’re thinking this all sounds great but how do I do this? I’m so glad you asked! Let me share what God told me while I was in the middle of depression. Take every thought captive. In other words, think about what you’re thinking about; and then, determine if it’s truth or not. Maybe it is truth, but there’s nothing you can do about it, such as the war in Ukraine. You’ve already donated, prayed, and anything else that is in your power to do. However, you keep thinking about all the people and all the pain and it keeps breaking your heart or making you angry. This thought needs to be taken captive. So start with prayer, “Jesus I’ve already done what I can, now help me to focus on my own family or the task at hand.” You do this with every thought that comes through your mind. If it’s not true, honorable, just, of good report, virtue or praise, replace it with something that is. I’ve heard it said that when you’re creating a new thought pattern it’s extra hard because you are literally making a new pathway in your brain. Because of the way we’re wired, we have the tendency to fall back into the thought patterns that has been more engrained. So, if you’re tired and you don’t know what else to replace a negative thought with and feel yourself slipping back to negative thought patterns, just say, “Jesus” and picture His pierced hands and feet.
Now that we’ve discussed how to take a thought captive and replace it, let’s add another layer. Remember who Jesus is! Remember that He is the Creator of all, the Alpha and Omega, He is our Lord, our Savior, our King, the Lamb that became the sacrifice for us. As I was dwelling on this, I began to read through Job 38-41. As soon as I read the first few verses in chapter 38, the tears began to fall. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” Reading these verses put everything in perspective for me. It’s not about me! It doesn’t matter how hard I think my life is or how everything seems to be crumbling down around me, God sees and He knows. When I remember God’s Almighty power instead of just focusing on my little corner of the world, my spiritual eyes are opened and see things through God’s lense, not mine.
Does all of this change the circumstances going on around us? Probably not, but it does change us in our circumstances. Maybe you feel battered and bruised in this season of your life. I pray right now that you would feel Jesus’ warm embrace around you and then take a long look into the loving face of your Savior and remember that He has already been bruised, beaten and bloodied for YOU!