Focus; April 19, 2023

Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

Much of the time David really got it right. We know from the last half of this Psalm that it was written at a point when he was really in a bind, with people out to kill him. However, he starts out by reminding himself of all the times God has rescued him, and here he declares that they are too many to count. That’s actually true for everyone on earth, if we have the spiritual perception to recognize it. God is indeed a God of mercy and grace, and the more we focus on that reality, the better able we are to endure the trial of the moment, whatever that might be. The hymn, Count Your Blessings, is one of my wife’s very favorites, and that’s saying something, considering how many hymns she knows. Right know she’s going through a lot, health-wise, but she is very aware of how much God has blessed her over the years. The devil tries to get her attention off of that, but he doesn’t succeed very often or very long. That makes her an example and an inspiration to all who know her. None of us is exempt from problems, just as Jesus warned us. (John 16:33) However, it we keep our focus on our almighty, loving Creator, we can get through anything, as Paul said many times in many ways, (2 Corinthians 4:17) and other writers did as well. (Hebrews 12:2)

Living with the wife I have, my conscience quickly rebukes me if I try to get into a pity party! I certainly agree with this verse, and I need to let it be reflected in every one of my interactions. This morning I get to share the Word with an interdenominational prayer meeting that meets here, and I am grateful. At the same time, I’m a bit stiff and sore from the gardening work I did yesterday. That said, I made real progress in getting things planted, and I can look forward to the harvest. I have negatives and positives all the time, and I need to choose to keep my focus on the positives, and most especially on the reality that my Creator loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me and His Spirit to live in me. That in itself is too wonderful to express fully in human words! When I let myself be distracted by aches and pains, physical or figurative, I reduce my availability to my Lord for Him to use me in blessing others, and I don’t want that. I indeed need to “fix [my] eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that [I] will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Father, thank You for this reminder. May I live this day and every day in gratitude and praise, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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