It is hard to focus when surrounded with distractions. Imagine the driver who is balancing a morning coffee, holding his cell phone, dictating a text message, and snaking his way through the morning rush. Dangerous? You bet!
In our life in Christ, the distractions are plentiful: irritating problems, painful words, relational slights, broken promises, high stress, and just plan being hungry and tired. The driver can (and should) set aside the coffee, phone, and text to focus on the road. In our spiritual life, we cannot set aside the issues of the day. However, we can put them in perspective. Stay focused on Jesus. Take this Scripture test to heart:
Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor. Consider the life of the One who endured such personal attacks and hostility from sinners so that you will not grow weary or lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3, The Voice)
We often see only the shame, only the personal attacks, only the hostility, only the cross. Jesus has a different perspective. He saw beyond the pain and suffering, He saw joy and transformation.
You are well aware that life is both – suffering and joy. At times the joy is present and the suffering is past. At other times the suffering is here and joy is yet to come. And many times, joy and suffering are mingled together. You can find the passion and perspective of Jesus in the burden and the blessings.
Let me share with you a way to pray that will help you “stay focused on Jesus” (vs. 1):
First – Ask to see like Jesus – Pray, “Jesus give me the eyes of your compassion. Show me where to look. Let me see Your suffering and joy in this.”
Second – Ask to think like Jesus. Pray, “Jesus, give me your thoughts about the situation as it is, as it can become, and as your will in heaven can be done in this.”
Third – Ask for the Hands of Jesus – Pray, “Jesus, I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I am your friend and your partner in your plan. What would you me have me do?”
Fourth – Ask for the Spirit of Jesus – Pray, “Jesus, I cannot do it alone. I desperately need Your Spirit so that together we accomplish your purpose in this problem.”
In this little prayer, you are stepping into Jesus Christ. You are placing your eyes, thoughts, hands, and life in Him. So, set down your coffee, your cell phone, your text message, and the distractions of the day. Renew your focus on Jesus. Stay focused.
Lord Jesus, I ask for your eyes, your perspective, that I might see what you see. As you look upon this. I ask for your thoughts that I might think as you think. I ask for your hands that I might join you in what you are doing. And, Lord, I so urgently and greatly need your Spirit, so that my life will be Your life. Amen.”
Copyright © Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.