Step Five: Contemplate Excellence—Fix Your Eyes on Jesus Alone.
God richly provides us with everything to enjoy. However, the greatest and most praiseworthy thing that God gives to us is Himself. He is the source of all true joy. To know God is to know joy. To believe God and enter into the fullness of the relationship He offers to us is to discover the fountain of life, of joy, and love. Augustine writes: “Following after God is the desire of happiness; to reach God is happiness itself.”
What does all of this mean, however, when we find ourselves in the middle of excruciating trials? How do we enjoy God even in the midst of difficult or devastating circumstances? It is at times like these that we are especially vulnerable. We worry, we become frightened, we fixate on troubles, and we wander. We so easily lose sight of Christ and fix our minds on other things. We lose sight of the ultimate goal of pursuing Jesus with our all. And we lose sight of the ultimate aim of pressing “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
The result? Distraction, mental confusion, and pain. A wise man once said, “This inclination to worry, to dwell on circumstances and not on the Lord is sin and confuses, confounds, and clouds the mind.” How do we lift this cloud?
Prayer at the beginning of the day and continually throughout the day is the only remedy. Seeking God and divine guidance and help in all things. Depending upon Him and rejoicing in Him moment by moment. Intentionally turning our gaze away from the world, our circumstances, our weaknesses, and ourselves and looking to Him.
Rather than trying to figure everything out, just fix your eyes on Jesus. Don’t look to the right. Don’t swerve to the left. Just keep your eyes on Him. Seek to pursue Him. Seek to please Him. Humbly, obediently, and faithfully follow Him. Even if you don’t know where you are going.
· Step One: Rejoice in the Lord—Always, Always, Always.
· Step Two: Entrust Your Trial—Give it All to Him with Thanksgiving.
· Step Three: Think on Truth—Believe God’s Word and Trust His Promises.
· Step Four: Guard Your Heart—Take Every Thought Captive.
· Step Five: Contemplate Excellence—Fix Your Eyes on Jesus Alone.