The more you focus on your difficulty, your hardship, or your pain during a time of suffering makes those things bigger.
When you do that, you will be thinking, “I’ve been going through this, and I’ve been going through that,” and if you tell your friends about your troubles, and they say, “Oh I’m sorry, I feel so sorry for you!” this will aggravate the pain.
The more that they say they pity you, the more your difficulty looks bigger and the bigger it seems, the more you’ll doubt God. The issue here is F-O-C-U-S, not the size of your difficulty.
When I think of focus, I think of many instances in the Bible, but, one of my favourites is the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.
The Bible says Daniel slept with the lions all night, yet, he did not focus on the lions. He wouldn’t have slept if he did. If he focused on the lions, he’d have been over at the corner crouching down, hoping that they wouldn’t see him.
When God did something for me during one of the most difficult times in my life, I saw a painting of Daniel in the lions’ den.
In that painting, I saw bones and all these lions and Daniel had his hands behind his back while looking at a ray of light.
What I want you to see is that Daniel didn’t have his sight on the lions, but he was focusing his gaze on God.
It was like God hugged me that day when I saw that significant painting because from that moment on, all of my fears disappeared. All of my uncertainties and a lot of other things disappeared because I got my focus right.
When you focus on the trouble, the burden, heartache, and pain, these just get bigger, and we feel less confident, less significant, and overwhelmed.
Remember, Daniel looked at the omnipotence of God who created the lions. By doing so, he shut the mouths of the lions and rendered them powerless.
God just let the lions hang around while Daniel went to sleep that night, and when he woke up and looked up, he was reminded of God’s faithfulness.
He realized he was where he was because he had obeyed God, and God delivered him.
God always operates on the basis of principles, not on the basis of feelings or how we feel. I’m referring to principles such as this simple one: we reap what we sow.
Another principle is: obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. That means I should do what He tells me to do and I will allow Him to take care of the consequences.
Still another of those principles is: God acts on behalf of those who wait on Him. So if I’m going to act on that principle, then I know I’m going to be heading in the right direction, knowing fully well that I’m doing the right thing because God operates on principles.
That’s the reason you and I can learn how to relate to Him, because if I don’t understand His ways then I’m going to say, “God, what are you up to?” It’s like He’s just up to doing and being who He says He is.
But, if you obey His principles, watch what happens because God wants us to obey Him and leave the consequences to Him.
Let me ask you a question: Is there any consequence of your obedience that God can’t handle? He can handle every one of them.
If I obey God and leave the consequences to Him, I’m going to be able to have peace, joy, confidence, and assurance because I know that He’s in control no matter what.
He takes care of everything because the only things that can happen in your life are those that He allows.
If you’re a child of God, whatever He allows, He allows it for a reason. I may not like what’s happening—and there have been lots of times I told Him I didn’t like what’s going on—but He said nothing.
Just let God hammer away your circumstances.
When you’re living with guilt in your life, in other words, living with sin in your life, you’re going to have a very difficult time trusting God because sin short-circuits His power in a person’s life.
Obey Him, focus on Him and watch Him deliver you from your circumstances.