Jessica Christine Musgrove

Author. Singer. Actress.
My King is a dragon-slayer.

Looking Up Instead of Looking Forward

I love this quote from The Chosen Season 2 Episode 3. But…it’s also convicting.

About a week ago, I wrote a blog titled “Consider It All Joy…”, which stems from the scripture in James 1:2-4. In the blog, I mention the hope and the joy that comes from knowing that endurance during a trial will lead to God’s perfect result according to His will and His timing.

Are we as God’s children allowed to experience joy and to hope in that promise? ABSOLUTELY!!

Yet as I kept chewing on this verse, chewing on all the things the Lord has been teaching me in His Word lately, a new thought struck me:

How often is it that we–how often is it that I–look so forward to the blessing after the battle, the perfect result after the endurance, the joy after the storm, and the mountain top after the valley rather than refocusing my heart completely on my Savior? My Savior–who is enough. My Savior–who is my ultimate blessing. My Savior–who is my joy in the here and now and for all eternity. If I was in the same shoes as Job and everything I have right now was stripped away, would I still, like Job, bow down and worship? Would I still give thanks? Or would I stare miserably ahead of myself, focusing only on the smallest morsel of a blessing the Lord could give me? Would I be more like Job’s wife and shout, “Curse God and die!”?

When a season of wilderness comes into our lives, a season of trial and endurance, it’s necessary for us to be there. And there’s nothing wrong with reminding ourselves that there is a blessing and the Lord is preparing us for something and strengthening our faith. But ponder this: What if the only blessing the Lord is preparing you for is just that… Strengthened faith? What if the great blessing He’s preparing you for in the trial is simply to draw you nearer to Himself so that He can have a more intimate relationship with you? What if the season of wilderness stemming from your unfulfilled desire has nothing to do with your desire ever being fulfilled and everything to do with growing closer to God? Would that be enough?

If it’s not, it should be.

Because of pride, it’s easy to look to God for the signs and wonders. For the blessings after the storm. For the healing of a broken heart. May we never forget that Jesus IS the blessing during the storm and the trial He has provided IS a blessing. It is. I promise. He doesn’t do anything to harm you, only to draw you closer to Himself. Only to reveal more understanding to your heart. Sometimes it takes a “bad” experience to do that.

When scripture says there is joy in the morning, peace that surpasses all understanding, and new mercies each day, it’s talking about Jesus Christ Himself! He’s the Great I AM, right? Meaning He is joy and mercy and peace and grace. In our prayers, we never have to ask Him to give us His joy, we simply need to pray, “Just give me more of You.”

What are some of your desires that you have yet to see fulfilled? I know it is hard to look upon those desires without asking God, “When? When can I have this? When can I experience that?”

So as hard as it may be, don’t look at those desires that aren’t supposed to be fulfilled yet. Don’t look ahead as you walk through the valley, either. Because in looking forward, you’ll only see a future that’s blurred because it doesn’t belong to you yet. Rather, LOOK UP! Look up at the Lord, reach up your hand and take His, and let Him lead you forward while you continue to look up at Him. Only at Him. That’s what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. In looking forward, our eyes will be assaulted with our circumstances–the valley, the trial, the obstacles, the closed doors, the storm. Just because we’re in a valley, it doesn’t mean we have to dwell on what’s inside. Look up, friend.

Look up, and keep walking.


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