What are you looking at?
By Fiona Schubert

And just like that – Christmas is gone again for another year and 2020 is upon us! 

I’ve been struck recently by the importance of our focus. At this time of year, we so often tend to reflect, looking back over the last 12 months, we note the highlights and the special moments we want to remember. Sometimes, this reflection brings pain to our hearts as we come across times of regret, hurt and even grief at the events of the year just gone.

For many reasons, 2019 will be a year we will always remember, for others, a year we would rather forget. In the midst of all this though, many of us will find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of memories and emotions as we realise the highs and lows we have journeyed through this year.

As we look ahead to the new year, we recall promises we‘ve made to ourselves about changes that will come this year. Many of us set new years resolutions as we formulate a plan or regime, determined to make this year better than the last. We are glad for an opportunity to close the door on the old and move into the new. 

In these quiet moments, a good question to ask ourselves is, where is my focus? 

What you’re looking at matters. What you’re focusing on matters. What you have in mind matters. Why? Because it affects the way you see everything else. It affects your priorities, it affects your time and most of all, it affects where you are now and where you’re going. What you’re looking at shapes your present and your future. 

As we consider the last year, the real issue is not what kind of year it’s been, or how things are for you right now, the real issue is, what are you looking at? Where is your focus? Just like getting a good picture with a camera depends on the focus through the lens. Getting a good picture of life depends on our focus.

God made a promise to His people that He would work ALL things together for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That means that when you’re going through life with God, even the bad things that happen will be turned for good, by Him, for you!

There’s a lyric in a song by Highlands Worship which I love and which I have used as a declaration so many times over the last year it says “no less God within the shadows…” 

That scripture from Romans and the lyric from the song are two principles we can hold on as we go into this new year. The same God who brought you through everything you’ve ever faced in life, is the God who will stand by your side this year. The same God who won every past battle for you, is the God who is fighting your present battle too and the God who will win every future battle you may face. 

So perhaps the even more pertinent question is, who are you looking at? 

Proverbs 4:25-27 encourages us:

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get side-tracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

Let’s keep our eyes on our God as we venture out into this momentous year – 2020, we’re ready for you! 

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