Faith, Focus, Jesus, Trusting God

What Are You Looking At?

‘Faith sometimes is work’ is one of my favorite lines from a song by Kirk Franklin. When I first heard those words, they really hit home. No matter how long you have been on this Christian walk, sometimes it’s just hard to believe that things are going to get better.  Previous situations and outcomes leave us feeling hopeless. Current circumstances have us in such despair that we can’t even fathom how God will ever bring us out. Whether you are a baby in Christ or a 30-year-saint, sometimes faith is simply hard work.

Admittedly, just a few short months ago my faith wavered a bit. I previously told you my story of miscarriage in 2010 and how that strengthened my faith. (See Passing the Test) But late last year, I found out that I was pregnant again and that once strong faith was feeble, barely standing on one leg. I found myself running to the doctor for every ache and pain. I was waking up in the middle of the night worrying myself sick about losing another baby. I was perusing baby boards and reading heartbreaking stories of women who had experienced multiple losses. I was reliving my moment of pain from the prior year all over again. I wanted so badly to believe, but I was finding it nearly impossible to see past my point of pain and disappointment. Luckily, I had my pal Peter to remind of exactly what was going on:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:22-21 NIV)

Peter was doing so well. His faith was working in his favor. There he was defying the Law of Gravity and literally walking across water, just as he had witnessed Jesus doing. I am sure that everything that he had experienced up until that point played a major part in his ability to believe that with Jesus he could walk on water. After all, Peter had already been personally privy to Jesus’ miraculous powers. So there was Peter, operating in his faith and proving that anything is possible if you only believe, but then something happened…

Peter took his eyes off the author and finisher of his faith and instead began focusing on the circumstances around him. That’s the moment that his faith began to waver; that’s precisely when he could no longer defy the odds and started to sink. And just like Peter, when I started looking around at everything and everyone besides Jesus, that’s when I started to lose sight of the promise. Instead of focusing on the storm around me, I should’ve been fixated on Jesus—I have two healthy children that He bore me prior to the miscarriage! Now that’s truly focusing on Jesus and who he is!

What are you so focused on that is taking your attention away from the One who can alter the situation? Are you remembering the pain of love lost that you cannot trust anyone else with your heart? Are you so zeroed in on the pain that you cannot see the promised healing? Do you constantly think about the financial lack that you don’t realize that you were warm all winter and ate a hot meal every day? Remember, your focus has the ability to fire your faith!

At the end of the song, Kirk Franklin says, “Faith is not believing in what He will do; it’s believing in what He’s already done.” When you feel yourself getting weak and your faith gets a little shaky, remember how He has already proven Himself to you over and over again.

I am blessed to report that as I write you today, I am nearly six months pregnant. We haven’t arrived yet, but my focus is on the One who has the power to keep us. I can see and hear the waves crashing in my peripherals, but I refuse to take my gaze off of Jesus for one second!

Dear Daddy,

Today I ask that You forgive me any time that my faith has wavered. I know that You have given me a measure of faith. I ask that You multiply that faith that I may believe You for the unthinkable. Help me to always keep my focus on Jesus while I am in the midst of my storms. Lord, my prayer is that You help my unbelief. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to ask yourself, “What am I looking at?” Is your focus on the problem or the problem fixer? I EMPOWER you to keep walking on water and defying odds and EMPOWER your faith by keeping your eyes fixated on Jesus.

Listen to Kirk Franklin’s “Everyone Hurts”:

 

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

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