- You’re in financial trouble.
- Your marriage is on the rocks.
- Your child is sick.
- Your teenager is rebelling against God.
- You’re stuck in some sin habit.
- You have no vision for your life.
- You feel numb towards God.
Many of us have likely found ourselves in one of the predicaments listed above. Perhaps you are there now. Maybe you’ve been there a long time. And my guess is that you’ve been in or around the church you have heard someone share a Scripture or word of encouragement to you to help you in your plight. One of the most common exhortations I hear given to people who are struggling in life is…..
LOOK TO JESUS.
And oftentimes one of the following Scriptures is quoted:
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2
Now I love this advice. There is a lot of bad advice going around these days. People love offering their opinions or the next bit of self-help advice. But none of it works. Self-help is only as strong as you. But God’s help comes with God’s power. And looking to Jesus is the source of our spiritual power, breakthrough and sustenance.
But if you are like me, knowing the right thing to do doesn’t always mean you know how to do the right thing. For example, earlier this year our HVAC system stopped working and I had to take the panel off to troubleshoot it. Somehow by an act of God I figured out that the pilot wasn’t lit and I had to manually try to light it myself (it was an old unit).
I had diagnosed the problem accurately and I knew what to do but I had no clue how to do it. I feel like this is true for many of us who have been told to look to Jesus… you know what to do, but you don’t know how to do it.
Do you find yourself wondering where to look? How do I look to a God I cannot see? Is it a faith thing? If I have enough faith will I see him? How will me seeing Jesus help me with my finances? If you have ever felt this way I just want to encourage you that you are not alone! And those are not selfish or unspiritual questions! In this post I want to show how I look to Jesus and how looking to him will connect you to his supply of grace, power and provision to meet whatever need you face.
LOOK TO THE CROSS
Take just ten minutes to remember Jesus’ crucifixion. Walk slowly through your mind each moment of his crucifixion. See the crown of thorns being placed on his head. Listen to the shouts and jeers of the Roman soldiers mocking him, beating him and spitting upon him. Remember the whip that tore the flesh from his back. Remember the sound of the nine inch nails being driven through his hands and feet and into the rugged cross. Remember his actual blood that fell to the earth and stained the ground.
Whenever someone tells me to look to Jesus, this is almost always the first thing I do. But why?
If I am struggling financially or I find myself in some trial, one of the easiest temptations to fall into is to believe that God doesn’t love me, though he knows about my situation I believe the lie that he doesn’t care. I usually can find ten reasons as to why I’m struggling in a certain way and so I disqualify myself from receiving any help from God. I start to think that because I made the mess, God is waiting for me to clean it up. And inevitably, when I fall into this thinking, I forget that God loves me and that he promised to walk in relationship with me where his life, power and grace would not only save me but sustain me.
So I look to Jesus on the cross as a concrete, ever-present reminder that God loves me. What is so beautiful about the moment in time that Jesus was crucified, is that no matter how many years elapse, that moment forever becomes an anchor point for our faith. It becomes a focal point for the eyes of our faith.
I find that as I ponder and meditate on the cross it becomes harder and harder to believe the lie that God is apathetic or neutral towards me. If he went through all of that for me 2000 years ago while I was a sinner (see Romans 5:8) then surely he is still loving me today. The longer I consider how much pain, agony and anguish he endured to show me his love, the stronger my faith grows that he can and will bring me out of any trial today.
Though there are a number of other ways we can “look to Jesus”, this is one way that has strengthened my relationship with Him and connected me to his “very present help in time of need.”
To hear a life-giving message on this subject check out the podcast below: