Focus – This can be defined as the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest. To concentrate (somebody’s) mind/attention (on something). The word originates from Latin, referring to hearth, fireplace, fire, flame, central point, and centre.
Truth – Can be defined as what is accurate and agrees with reality.
Trust – This can be defined as confidence put in someone or something.
Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 (AMP)
So, Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” John 8:31-32 (AMP)
Put simply, Jesus can answer all our questions. Don’t look to the world for the answers we seek.
Few of us escape the trials, tribulations, or traumas of life. Chaos and catastrophes, pain and pitfalls affect many in the futility and frustrations of life. For some people, these times may be short in duration and can be coped with to some degree, but for others, they are extreme and perhaps prolonged. Either way, they can be – character-shattering or building, life-destroying or changing. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon cogently describes the lostness and emptiness of society (then and equally now) in seeking power, popularity, prestige, or pleasure apart from God.
Psychologist Robert Plutchik has estimated that there are over 34,000 unique human emotions! We’re all probably familiar with some if not all, the eight primary ones – Trust, Anticipation, Disgust, Surprise, Fear, Sadness, Anger and Joy. Our Contemporary culture values individualism, emotivism, relativism, emotional intelligence, and well-being and encourages us to go with our gut instinct or heart’s desires. It promotes doing what you can get away with and justifies your actions by your own standards but is outraged with the idea of true truth, of absolutes. Inevitably, such continually fluid, utterly disjointed, and frequently conflicting values lead to the ethics and morals of shifting sands and, thereby, to injustice and frustration. So, the question needs to be answered – are our emotions totally trustworthy, definitely dependable, or reliable?
“Our heart is deceitful, our emotions fluctuate; Our understanding doesn’t see the overall, big picture. In complete contrast God never lies, God never changes, God knows all. We can truly trust Him.” Jer. 17:9-10.
According to Mental Health UK, 1 in 10 people are living with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the USA, affecting around 40 million adults. Apparently, our emotion of fear triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses, activating more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters. It’s at the root of all human stress!
Recently, going through the most traumatic and challenging time of my life, someone sent me this succinct and encouraging message: “Satan wants you to focus on your emotions. God wants you to focus on the truth.” Philippians 4:9 Encourages us to think about “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
I also remembered a crucial point John Stott gave at a conference I attended many years ago, “One of the highest and noblest functions of man’s mind is to listen to God’s Word, and so to read His mind and think His thoughts after Him.”
C.S. Lewis wrote “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods”. So not being governed by our feelings we can overcome our fears.
Lord, help me to fill my heart with Your Word so that I may never slip from Your narrow path. Engrave Your life-changing, lifesaving truths into my heart and mind so that Your love, mercy, and grace are forever imprinted in my life. Lord, keep my feet on the path that leads to life so that I may prepared for Your glorious return. Amen