2020 has been a tough year for many of us. We’ve all experienced a fair share of challenges in our lives this year. Now that it’s December, I’ve been reflecting a lot about the past year and everything that came my way. To tell you the truth, I sometimes waver between being grateful to God that I am still standing, and feeling disappointed and sad about the struggles that I had to face this year. Can any of you relate?
I feel like this year has brought so many subtle blessings to my life. I have had a lot more time to spend with Jesus and family. I was able to work on a lot of new projects that I wouldn’t have had the time to work on. I feel like this year, I’ve finally learned what it truly means to walk by faith and choose the right perspective no matter how I feel. On the other hand, I’ve had to deal with unexpected health concerns, looming deadlines, fears about my future, the loss of loved ones and many other difficult situations. When I woke up this morning, I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world. It was just one of those days when I found myself focusing more on the challenging moments of 2020 rather than those subtle blessings I just mentioned. I found myself focusing on what wasn’t right and what I didn’t have. The more that I thought about these things, the more discouraged I felt.
When I finally came to my senses, I realized that what I needed to do was get into the word of God. I had learned this year that the only place that I could find perspective about my life and my journey is in God’s word, so that’s what I did. I read a few verses that brought me the encouragement that I desperately needed, but it wasn’t until I read Isaiah 26:3 that I knew God was trying to get my attention. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” When I read the verse, I felt my eyes tear up, because I felt God reminding me that what I needed to do was focus on Him. Instead of focusing on what didn’t go right this year, or the challenges that I had to endure, I must instead focus on Him. The peace and contentment that I needed would only come if my mind was fixed on Him and not the problems of 2020. After a few minutes of meditating on that verse and letting the tears of disappointment and frustration flow, I wiped my eyes and asked God to help me to keep my mind fixed on Him, so that I could experience the peace that only He could give me.
Have you found yourself focusing more on the difficulties of this year? Are you waking up in the morning and allowing discouragement and disappointment to greet you at your bedside, or are you making the decision to focus on Jesus in the midst of the difficulties? My sister constantly tells me that what we focus on is what’s magnified. If we’re constantly focused on the bad things, then they will only have more power over us and this gives way to fear, discouragement, etc. Yet, if we choose to focus on Jesus, we’re constantly aware that He is truly in control and that as His children, He will always work things together for our good because we love Him (Romans 8:28).
I encourage you today to fix your mind on Jesus, because the mind stayed on Him will be in perfect peace. This isn’t always easy to do, especially when the circumstances around you are literally screaming at you to worry and fret; however, God helps us when we ask Him. Let us ask Him for the help that we need today to keep our minds stayed on Him.