Refocus!

Last week I was feeling spiritually blah and wanted a verse to meditate on that would help me refocus. I searched on the word “hope” and found this gem:

…fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:13, NASB)

Let’s break it down and meditate on it.

  • Fix means to set definitely or focus. When something is fixed it is secure rather than wavering. It is solid rather than shifting. My emotions have been fluctuating recently and that has caused my mind to vacillate as well. This is a factor in feeling spiritual blah. I want to experience the peace and calm that comes from fixing my mind on what comes next in this verse. I trust that will lead to far more life.
  • Hope is more than a wish. It is a confident expectation. It is not blind, but is based on evidence. Often my well-being is hanging on whatever I am hoping in. When I hope in temporary things, I feel good temporarily. But that is not satisfying! God has given me a desire for permanent hope. If I am to “fix my hope”, it must be placed in something that is more secure. Far more life recognizes that hope must be placed on the eternal. That is the only trustworthy source of hope.
  • Completely. If there can be only one object of hope, this verse is getting ready to define it! Whatever is ahead is worthy of all my hope. It will not disappoint. It will be firm. It will be consistently available. This word promises that far more life is within my grasp if my hope is fixed in the right place!
  • On the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ Jesus. This is the key to the whole verse. It is the best possible object of my hope. The revelation of Christ Jesus will definitely occur at His second coming. He will be revealed as The Messiah, Lord of Lord, King of Kings, Redeemer, and more. He will rescue God’s children — including me! — from this wicked earth and take us home to Heaven. I will be rescued from the power, presence, and penalty of sin forever. All who have denied Christ — or ridiculed me for following Him — will realize their error. I look forward to the day when He will return and the object of my hope will become visible!

When I pull this all together, far more life is placing my hope in the grace of Jesus Christ. It is knowing that eternity with Him is my ultimate goal. That allows me to take the challenges of this life in stride, knowing they are preparing me for the future that He already knows. I recognize that I am on a journey, a road trip, through this world. It is my current, temporary home, but something much better awaits me. I experience good and bad, and while both can bring personal growth, neither defines or fulfills me. Rather my connection to God is the source of my identity and fulfillment. When I remember all this, the spiritual “blah” feelings evaporate and I am able to see life through the lenses of joy and thankfulness.

Here are a few more verses on hope:

…godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (I Timothy 4:8b-10, NASB)

Godliness leads to far more life now and for all eternity. God is trustworthy. If He says something is valuable, I can believe it is. When I fix my hope on Him, my efforts to become like Him will pay off.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17, NASB)

When I consider worldwide economics, I am rich. Yet this should not be a source of pride. I should not fix my hope on money or possessions to make my life secure. Remembering that God is my ultimate provider is a key to living far more life. He is generous and wise; He knows exactly what I need and always supplies enough. I can expectantly look for and find His provision in every situation I face.

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (I John 3:3, NASB)

Because my hope is in Jesus, I am pure. What a wonderful statement and promise! Jesus has purified my heart and enables me to rise above spiritual “blah” to far more life! When I stop to think about what He has done for me, I cannot stay in an emotional funk. God has already forgiven me for failing to remember all Jesus has done for me. But once I recall the price He paid and the benefits I received, my heart is eager to thank Him and notice all the ways He blesses me. Those moments of thankfulness are moments of far more life. May my day — and yours — be filled with them!

Sisters,
What verse or spiritual truth helps reset your vision?
Where is your hope? Is it on temporary things or eternal ones?
Do you believe that God will supply all you need? If not, what do you need that He has not supplied? What source have you turned to for those things? Did that source give you far more life?
Join me today in thanking God and focusing on far more life and the hope it brings!
-Shari

Copyright 2019, Shari Damaso
Photo Credit: JenJoe Marsh


Far More Strength

I find rest in God; only he can save me.
He is my rock and my salvation.
He is my defender; I will not be defeated. (Psalm 62:1-2, NCV)

I enjoy reading good post-apocalyptic stories, where some disaster has ended life as we know it and people are struggling to survive. One characteristic of these stories is the constant battle for safety and rest. Those who are alone are vulnerable and do not last long against savage attackers and the harsh realities of life. However, those who join forces with trustworthy and resourceful people are more likely to survive.

Sisters, you may feel like you are living a post-apocalyptic life. If not physically, then perhaps emotionally or spiritually. Trying to survive alone makes you vulnerable. You need a place of rest, a solid rock to support you, a defender who is stronger and wiser than your enemy, and someone to fight beside you when danger arises.

Far more life finds strength in God. It admits weakness, exhaustion, and vulnerability. It depends on Him to lead, strengthen, protect, and defend you.

How long will you attack someone? Will all of you kill that person? Who is like a leaning wall, like a fence ready to fall? They are planning to make that person fall. They enjoy telling lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Selah. (Psalm 62:3-4, NCV)

It’s not just your circumstances that makes life hard. It often feels like you are being attacked by other people. You may be misunderstood and rejected. Or slandered by someone spreading false information. People may say one thing to your face and another behind your back. It is painful, and you can feel helpless. You can feel at the end of your strength, barely holding on. Where is far more life then? What should you do?

The Psalm continues:

I find rest in God; only he gives me hope.
He is my rock and my salvation.
He is my defender; I will not be defeated.
My honor and salvation come from God.
He is my mighty rock and my protection.
People, trust God all the time.
Tell him all your problems, because God is our protection. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8, NCV)

Turn to your Heavenly Father. God is your only secure source of hope and protection. He sees what is exposed and hidden (Daniel 2:20-22). He understands your heart; no explanation is needed (I Samuel 16:7). He loves you (I John 3:1). He is always trustworthy (Psalm 145:13). Stay connected to Him and draw from His strength. Telling him your problems opens your heart to receiving his protection, provision, and perspective. You may find other sources of temporary strength, but eventually they will fail you. His strength is secure.

The least of people are only a breath, and even the greatest are just a lie. On the scales, they weigh nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in force. Stealing is of no use. Even if you gain more riches, don’t put your trust in them.
God has said this, and I have heard it over and over:
God is strong.
The Lord is loving.
You reward people for what they have done. (Psalm 62:9-12, NCV)

God says you have no reason to be intimidated by people; they have no more power or control than you do. They live within the boundaries that He has established for them (Psalm 139). On the other hand, you have no reason to push for your own way, manipulate, coerce, or forcefully take what you need from others. Power, position, and wealth do not bring far more life. You can be honest with God. He sees and and knows all, yet He responds with grace and mercy. There is no reason to fear Him. There is no need to hide from Him.

Far more life trusts in God’s strength and finds safety there. It recognizes our own weakness, but not in a hopeless, helpless way. The Apostle Paul sums it up this way:

For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10b, NIV)

God can accomplish the seemingly impossible in your life. He is your personal superhero who will save the day. He is listening for your cry and is eager to ensure your needs are met. He loves you more than anyone else ever has, ever can, or ever will. His love is pure with no hidden agenda. It is secure, so nothing can separate you from His love: no secret from your past; no current weakness; no failure lurking in your future. His love is the source of all that is good, and He enjoys blessing you with good gifts — especially the strength to walk in love, joy, and peace. He enables you to do good then rewards you for it.

Far more life is built on God’s strength. It accepts His leadership. It trusts Him to fight every battle with you and for you. It is confident He will lead you to safety and eternal blessing.

Sisters,
In your struggles do you go it alone or cling to God?
What line of this Psalm describes the help you need from God?
What other sources of hope and protection are you tempted to turn to?
How has God been your personal superhero?
Thank him for leading you to far more life!
-Shari

Copyright 2019, Shari Damaso
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