Reset your Focus
We are exposed to so many confusing and frustrating things on social media and through the news. It’s so easy for our attention to dwell on the melting pot of current events and be overwhelmed with thoughts like, “I need to keep up to date with this, I NEED to have answers for everything that is going on, I NEED to find a way out of this situation.” The truth is the only thing you do NEED to focus on is Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.”
He is literally telling us that He is an all-in-one solution.
So, how do we focus on Jesus?
Well, a big reason why we easily focus on the mainstream ‘Debbie Downers’ of the world is because we get blasted with their obnoxious reports and opinions as soon as we pick up our phones and start scrolling.
So here’s an idea—have a cull on your phone.
Get rid of the apps that tend to take your focus from where it should be (on Jesus). OR do one even better, tweak those apps so that you get blasted with content from creators and trusted sources that are sensitive and honest in how they share news. Follow sites that uphold Biblical principles and that share information that would build your confidence, not knock it down.
This is not to say you shouldn’t be ‘in the know’ about current events or whatever else is going on, but you can control how you receive it, and you can control who you hear it from.
Try and adjust the way you see the world according to the ways of Jesus, His character, His words, and His example. Try to see Jesus in everything that is going on (kind of like when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the fire and weren’t afraid, because they knew that they weren’t alone).
As you begin this year, try not to be distracted by the dumpster fire of current events. Reset your focus to be on Jesus. He is there; sometimes you just have to refocus to see Him.
Exercise your Trust
Once you have committed to focus on Jesus, you need to remember to trust Him.
Our free will enables us to make decisions in this life, and sometimes we don’t make the right ones. Take time, as often as you can, to entrust your decisions to Jesus. Ask him to help you in your decision making, and also trust that if you make wrong choices, He can make things right.
Actively exercise your trust in Him, so that it becomes second nature.
Trust in Jesus allows positive traits to flow into your heart. It allows you to have joy, even when things are tough. It allows you to have hope, when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
If you do not strive to trust in Jesus, you can easily stop focusing on him and fall back into drowning in the mire of doubt and hopelessness that tries to close in around us every day.
How can we exercise trust?
A great exercise to enhance your trust muscles is to look back and be thankful.
Look back at all the different situations the Lord has brought you through. Gratitude is a powerful tool in conquering anxiety and is a balm for soothing worries. Try and take some time daily (or weekly, or however is best for you) and write down a few things that you are thankful for. Try and do this in the morning as it will help you start the day with a brain that is reminded of the goodness of God in your life. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make.
Your trust in Jesus is a guard against ideas and feelings that will try and convince you that there is no hope. Don’t forget to exercise it!
Plan to be like Jesus
With your focus on Jesus, and a trust that is strong, you can start making plans with confidence. Of course, we like to make practical plans for ourselves at the new year, to push our creativity, grow our businesses, get healthier—all that good stuff—but here is another challenge for you, from us.
The Character Trait Challenge –
For the past few years, the staff at CEE have sat together and assigned one of the 90 Biblical character traits to each month of the year to be our monthly focus.
If you don’t know what these character traits are, here’s an explanation:
ACE has compiled a list of 90 character traits that Christ exhibited throughout the Bible. This list a great tool, because it can help us learn more about each individual trait and then figure out how to put it to use in our own lives. Ultimately, as Christians, we want to be like Jesus, so implementing and putting these traits into practice is a step in the right direction!
So here is a challenge for you! Using the list of Character traits below (click the button to download), choose a trait for each month this year, try and learn more about the trait, and have a go at putting it into practice throughout the month. Keep a diary of what you think about the character trait, how difficult (or easy) it was for you to implement, and what you learned through the practice of it—How did it make you feel? How did it affect others? What resulted from your actioning of this characteristic?
Dig deep into what it means to be like Jesus and put it to practice!
We hope you enjoy taking part in this challenge and that it blesses and surprises you this year.
Reset your focus on Jesus.
Practice trusting in Jesus.
Plan to be like Jesus.
Happy new year to all our readers! 😊