Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Recently I had a tremendous privilege to be a guest speaker at a youth winter camp. While there I shared quite transparently about the abuse I suffered as a child and throughout my teen years. After speaking with the large group of youth, several came to me to share of similar abuse and experiences they had also endured. The final youth, a strong young man with a great future ahead of him, asked me very directly; “How did you get to a place where it no longer controls you, where you are now free, where you are now victorious?”
That question prompted the above chorus in my mind, and reminded me of where and how I first learned the truth of the power of turning our eyes upon Jesus. This chorus is a familiar and famous one to many people. For me, it is a chorus that provides a great reminder of a specific time in my life; a time of healing that brought me to a place of really living victoriously. While I was in college I had a specific sin struggle in my life that I was trying with all my might to overcome. It really frustrated me that though I did not want this sin struggle in my life, Satan would repeatedly attack me with it. I cried out to God and asked Him to rescue me from what I had no strength or ability to overcome myself. God’s words to me were victory-giving and life-altering. I heard God say to me, ‘Stop looking at the sin, and just look at me!’ At first that seemed to me to not be a very smart response, but we must remember that God’s foolishness is wiser than the wisest human! In the next few months I intentionally turned my eyes to Jesus and let Him be my focus. After those few months I realized in hindsight that the sin struggle had just disappeared!! The victory invaded my life when I stopped looking at the sin and fighting to eradicate it; when I turned my eyes upon Jesus and looked full into His wonderful face!
Life will throw us some pretty big challenges, struggles, and heart-wrenching situations. No one is immune to this reality. However, we can each be prepared for a victorious life even in the face of hard times; if we only develop the discipline in our life of turning our eyes to Jesus. I am not a victim, nor a survivor, but rather am victorious… because I turn my eyes to Jesus. Will you/do you do the same? There is great victory in seeing and following Jesus Christ!