“ I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:8-11 (NIV).
The start of this passage sets up our daily challenge: “I keep my eyes always on the Lord.” Peter quotes King David’s words in Psalm 16:8–11 in Acts 2:25–28 (NIV). “David said about him:“‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
It is all about focus. Focus is an interesting thing. A powerful thing. It is a primary factor in making change possible. I think that’s also why the Bible spends so much time teaching us to keep our eyes on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction.
If you read through the book of Exodus, you will see numerous times the Lord reassures Moses that He will deliver the children of Israel from bondage. Exodus 6: 1 says, “Then the Lord told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!” Verse 4 adds: “And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners.” And finally, verse 8 says, “I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’”
They had been in bondage for many, many years and they had lost all hope of ever being free. They were too focused on their situation; and not on what the Lord said He was going to do. All too often we mirror the children of Israel and forget that God really does have a plan and He is in control. There is no reason to lose our focus because we can trust Him, His way, and His timing.
This quote about gratitude by Ann Voskamp in the book “Faithful” sums it up:
“Sing, heart, sing your thanks,
Grow your gratitude muscle,
Grow in thanks to God.
Grow strong in God
and trust there is no calamity,
agony, enemy, or catastrophe
that can change this certainty:
Mercy meets you
and grace names you
and hope holds you
and courage carries you
and the King of Kings claims you
so no past can ever shame you,
no scar can maim you,
no choice could ever stain you,
more than His love faithfully sustains you.”
- What are you focused on today? This week? How should your focus change?
- It’s not uncommon to doubt God when life gets hard. What does this imply about what we believe about God?