We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne!” – Hebrews 12:2 (CEV).
What does it mean to “fix your eyes on Jesus?” How do we practically live out “focusing on Jesus?” And why are we encouraged to turn our eyes upon Jesus? How does focusing on Jesus help us endure difficult circumstances?
In broad terms, fixing your eyes on Jesus means choosing to take our attention off of our circumstances and place our focus on God. It’s remembering God’s faithfulness in the past, His presence today, and His promises for tomorrow. It’s remembering His love, mercy, and grace toward us. It’s doing what Paul said in Philippians 4:8 when he said, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” It’s choosing to list all we’re thankful for, even when we’re not feeling particularly thankful. It’s choosing to see our circumstances as God sees them. It’s replacing our human perspective with a kingdom-centered perspective.
So how do we have that same type of focus? Reading Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances – off the setbacks or the walls in our lives—and fix them squarely on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction. When we look at ourselves, we see our weaknesses, past failures, and the many excuses we make. But in looking to Jesus, we find strength, forgiveness, and the courage to run our race. No matter how much adversity comes our way or how many disappointments threaten to knock us out of the race, keeping our focus on Jesus will ultimately bring us victory.
The bottom line is entrusting ourselves to Jesus by trusting Him fully. It means turning your eyes away from other things and fixing them on Him. For instance, if you really focus on something, everything else becomes somewhat blurry. It’s the same when you’re using a camera. When you get your subject dialed in, the focus blurs out other elements so your subject stands out more clearly. That’s what it means to look to Jesus. By looking to Him, you’re putting Him first. You’re filling your mind with the Word of God. And that can help you get through whatever you’re going through.
Colossians 3:1-4 teaches us what life looks like when we’re focused on Jesus: “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.“
Christ is the perfecter of us and our faith. We can trust Him to turn our resolution into reality as we stay focused on Him.
- We will only live the life we want when our eyes are fixed on Jesus. How will you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus this week? As you fix your eyes on Him, what changes do you expect to see?
- What can we do this week to keep from being distracted and completely focused on God?