Joni and Friends Blog

Keep Your Focus on God


“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

1 Corinthians 8:6

Today’s Scripture says, “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” Most of us understand that God uses hardships to improve our character, remove sinful habits, make us heaven-hearted, and instill compassion in us toward others. But refined faith should never be an end in itself—it should all lead back to God Himself. Stronger character isn’t made muscular for its own sake, but for God’s. A livelier hope isn’t focused on “things getting better,” but on God. It’s all about glorifying Him. To forget this is to tarnish faith, weaken character, and deflate hope. The Bible never calls us to keep our eyes on suffering—or even suffering’s benefits. Only on God, the One “from whom all things came,” including suffering. Consider the good benefits surrounding the hardships in your life. Let’s take our stand with the apostle Paul, who wrote, “I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:8-9).

Lord Jesus, keep my focus off not only my hardships, but also even whatever benefits might come from those hardships. May my focus always and only be on You, especially today.

 


Suffering is Never for Nothing

Hard times come for all in life, with no real explanation. When we walk through suffering, it has the potential to devastate and destroy, or to be the gateway to gratitude and joy. Elisabeth Elliot was no stranger to suffering. It was in her deepest suffering that she learned the deepest lessons about God.

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