What Holds Your Gaze, Your Pain or His Promises?

But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:51

I find myself struck by the power of the message tucked within our opening scripture.

The scene takes place in the Garden of Gethsemane, just after our Lord’s agonizing prayer submitting His will to our Father. Jesus had struggled so intently to yield His heart, great drops of blood mingled with His sweat and dripped to the ground.

Then He rose to face His accusers and surrender His life for you and me.

Matthew 26 tells us a great crowd with swords and clubs approached Jesus to arrest Him. His disciples rose to defend Him, and Peter struck the servant of the high priest with his sword, slicing off his ear.

Here we come to our opening scripture.

But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:51

I wonder how the crowd must have felt, witnessing this miracle firsthand. They had come to arrest Him for blasphemy. After all, He had claimed to be God, and that idea was impossible. Yet who but God could reattach an ear with just His touch?

How fear must have gripped them. Yet that same fear drove them to kill the Savior who had come to redeem them.

But here’s the thought that struck me today, beloved. Jesus intervened on behalf of one who had come to harm Him. He healed him, and the man hadn’t even asked Him to. He gave of Himself on behalf of one who hated Him.

How much more will He give on behalf of one who loves Him?

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11

I pray that thought encourages you, dear one. It encourages me. You see, at times life seems to offer one hurt after another. Circumstances arise that we would never choose. Trials come that seem to have the power to end us. They rob us of our breath—sometimes even our will to breathe.

But in those moments, we are never forsaken. The God who loves and gives stands ready to give of Himself to us. But He often waits for His children to fix our gaze upon Him. To know who He really is. And understand who we really are.

I have wept over the promises found in Psalm 27.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident… For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. (verses 1-3, 5)

He will, beloved. He always keeps His Word. But the key to experiencing His promise and rescue is found in verse 4.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

You see, most of us fix our gaze on this life. The things we desire. The people we love. Even on our enemies. And we often find ourselves overcome by disappointment and pain.

But David shows us the way to peace and victory in Psalm 27:4. He set his heart on one thing alone: intimacy with his Lord. He desired to see Him—to gaze upon His beauty—and to hear from Him. As long as David could search out his God and inquire of Him for help, he knew he’d be ok.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Psalm 27:6

David knew that even when our enemy comes from every side seeking to drown us in fear and hopelessness, if he fixed his gaze on Jesus and His plan, his Lord would lift his head above his enemies and he would rise victorious.

I have lived the promise of these verses, dear one. Many times over the last year, I sensed a great army encamped against me. Over and over, opportunities to fear surfaced. The enemy whispered he would take my parents, my son, even my ministry. Illness and discord fought for prominence in my life.

But I determined I wouldn’t bow down to fear. I set my gaze upon the beauty of my Lord, proclaiming His promises and inquiring in His temple. And I discovered what David had found.

Peace.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

 Our Father will not forsake His children, no matter what circumstances suggest.

He implores us to believe Him.

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