Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus

by David J. Stewart
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"And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." -Matthew 14:29,30

       It is to our loss as believers, that so oftentimes we forget the simplest teachings of the Scriptures. Peter was able to walk on the water by faith, until he took his eyes off Jesus, looking at the storm's tempest instead. What a truth! So often we take our eyes off the Lord, because of troublesome co-workers, marital difficulties, rude people, unfair situations, life's problems, et cetera. The lesson is simple—keep your eyes on the Lord and you won't go under! 

When we find our self in these situations-frustrated, discouraged, and angry because of people—we need to focus our eyes once again upon the Word of God, i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ. It is quite easy to lose sight of one's Christian beliefs, when overshadowed with adversity and grief. It can be overwhelming at times. People can be so cruel. 2nd Timothy 3:1 warned us that "perilous times" would come, when people would be... lovers of their own selves. The majority of Americans today have become selfish, self-conscious, and self-centered. Sadly, America's Christians aren't much better. 

The Biblical account of Peter walking on the water to Jesus, is one of the first lessons which Sunday School children should learn, and a lesson which every adult Christian should never lose sight of. When we focus our thoughts upon the divine Truths of God's Word, we are able to withstand the attacks of Satan (Ephesians 6:13)... we are able to expose Satan's works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11)... we are able to look beyond the flesh and see the demonic spiritual forces at work (Ephesians 6:12). The Bible will keep us from sin, or sin will keep us from the Bible.

In this dark midnight hour of apostasy, the need is great for God's children to shine as lights in this sinful world. If not us, who? If not here, where? If not now, when? The voice of the church is being drowned in ecumenical apostasy.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss;
From victory unto victory, His army shall He lead;
'Til every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

What will the burdens of this present life matter 100 years from now? What will today's frustrations, and the things that so often rob us of our joy, matter 100 years from now?  They won't. All that will matter then is whether a person died in the Lord (i.e., a born-again Christian), or tragically in their sins. All that will matter then for the believer, is what we did for the Lord with our life, whether we obeyed the Word of God or not (Mark 10:29,30). Life is so short... "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more" (Psalm 103:15-16). 

The people who persecute us, and try to ruin our day, can't take away our happiness in Heaven... "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22). So often we take our eyes off the Lord because of people. Some people are enemies of the cross of Christ, who hate us without cause... "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). Some people are just miserable, and misery loves company. Whatever the reason, we must learn to take our eyes off people, and the circumstances, and look to Jesus Christ. 

When people are unforgiving, and tell us to go away, we need to place our eyes upon the Lord Jesus. When people hurt us, and become vindictive, we need to turn our eyes upon the Lord Jesus. When the burdens of this world weigh us down, and the walls feel like their fast closing in around us, we need to rest our eyes upon the Savior. Peter learned this lesson the hard way, as he was sinking into the depths of the sea; but then quickly turned his eyes once again upon the Lord. The lesson is so simple, and yet deeply profound—keep your eyes on Jesus! Peter did ok, until he took his eyes off the Lord, and instead focused upon the wind, rain, and waves. As a consequence, Peter began to sink into the deadly waves of the sea. 

Fortunately, Peter placed his eyes once again upon the Lord, and all was well. Life has it's many storms, and we mustn't allow ourselves to stoop to the level of carnally-minded people. We mustn't allow ourselves to place God on trial when things don't go the way we want in life. Keep your eyes on Jesus! So the next time you find yourself sinking into discouragement and/or depression, turn your eyes upon the Lord and remember that none of life's present burdens will matter 100 years from now. 

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." -Psalm 103:12-14