Devotions

Fixing My Eyes on Jesus

November 5, 2018
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
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Every one of us has problems that feel like we are walking through a “fiery” time in life. What fuel has God the Refiner added to the fire of your life, as He works to reveal Jesus in and through you?

Has the heat intensified to an almost unbearable level? Maybe it’s marriage problems, and your spouse walked out? Or financial problems, and now the bank says it’s foreclosing? Or challenges at work, and now the boss says they no longer need you?

Whatever the situation or intensity of the heat, be encouraged! When a refiner purifies gold, he melts it in a pot over a fire. He keeps turning up the heat until the dross, or impurities, rise to the surface. He then bends over the gold to skim off the dross and continues doing so, until he can see his face reflected in the surface of the liquid gold.

Gold refined in the fire is a meaningful visual of how God refines us. (Malachi 3:2-3) He knows exactly how hot the “fire” needs to be to bring the impurities in our hearts, minds and lives to the surface of our attention, enabling Him to skim them off until He can see His own image reflected in us. When He turns up the heat, we need to fix our eyes on Him, totally trusting Him to know exactly what He’s doing.

The Refiner has added fuel to the fire in my life. On August 17, 2015, between 3 and 3:30 p.m., I discovered my husband, Danny, unresponsive in our pool. Two days later, he was Home in heaven! Three years to the day, on the afternoon of August 17, 2018, at the very same time of day, 3 to 3:30, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When I realized the strange “coincidence” of the timing, I came to the chilling conclusion it was evidence of an enemy assault. But just as that thought was forming, I heard the soft, gentle whisper of the Spirit, reminding me that it was on a Friday, during that very same time — between 3 and 3:30 in the afternoon — that God’s Passover Lamb was sacrificed. Jesus died on the very same day of the week, at the very same time of day, crushing the head of the serpent, forever defeating the devil and death.

Praise God! The cross, the blood of God’s Lamb, trumps anything the devil can throw at us or assign to us!

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

So I am left to fix my eyes on the Refiner … the One ultimately in control. Of everything. Trusting Him. Especially with the intensity of the heat.

Each day since the cancer diagnosis, God has given me encouragement from His Word. God has been — and is — my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in this trouble. Therefore, I will not fear … but He’s also made it clear we need each other. One promise God brought to mind is James 5:16, “Pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

I’m confident my healing will be not just an answer to my prayer, but the prayers of others for me, whether healing without surgery, with surgery, with surgery plus follow-up treatment, or through the greater miracle of the resurrection. And your healing — physical, emotional, spiritual or mental — may also be an answered prayer for others as their faith strengthens yours.

The following poem is one I handwrote in my first Bible when I was 9 years old. I don’t know what led me to treasure it, but it seems appropriate for me now, and maybe it is for you, too:

Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee.
Trust Him when thy strength is small.
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Is the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him, He is ever faithful.
Trust Him for His will is best.
Trust Him for the heart of Jesus
Is the only place to rest.

Trust Him then through tears and sunshine,
All thy cares upon Him cast,
‘Til the storms of life are over,
And the trusting days are past.

As I follow the Good Shepherd through this Valley of the Shadow, I am firmly fixing my eyes on Jesus with a heart of absolute trust. My prayer is that my faith would be purified, God would be glorified, and Jesus would be magnified through every step I take on this new journey, until the Refiner sees His own reflection mirrored in my life.

Father God, help me trust You as my faith is purified, until my faith becomes sight, when I see You face-to-face, and the trusting days are past. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 46:1-2a, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (NIV)

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Anne Graham Lotz's prayer is that this newly updated deluxe devotional, Fixing My Eyes on Jesus, will help you fix your eyes on Jesus every day!

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REFLECT AND RESPOND

What fuel has God the Refiner been adding to the fire of your life lately? How is God encouraging you to keep seeing His image?

© 2018 by Anne Graham Lotz. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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