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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

Choose Your Focus (Col. 3:1-4)

Choose Your Focus (Col. 3:1-4)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – When the Lord returns, we will share in His glory and our lives will be glorious. “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3: 4).

In the meantime, things don’t look so glorious. There are headaches and setbacks and disappointments. We read “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NKJV). We have the tribulation part down pretty well. It’s the be of good cheer part that stumps us.

The problem is our focus. If we focus on this world, its troubles will fill and cloud our minds. If, instead, we focus our thoughts and energies on the Christ who conquered the world, we’ll see His victories all around us and we will be repeatedly encouraged and cheered up. Paul recommends the latter:

“If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3).

In the Bible, God tells us some facts He wants us to believe, and He asks us to focus our lives on those truths. He tells us that Christ rose bodily into heaven and rules from there: “The Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). He also tells us that, in a way we can believe but not fully understand, we joined Christ there: “He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – When Colossians 3 says, “you have been raised with Christ,” it’s not talking about a future resurrection but a present reality. However, our elevated position is perceived only by faith, not by feeling. It is perceived by believing what God said and then acting on that belief in two ways:

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – You can decide what you spend time thinking about, and what you think about most determines your vantage point. Jesus said, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mat. 6:20-21). If the things you value most are here on earth, that’s where your mind will be, and it will be troubled. As you call your thoughts back to Him and His goodness, your mind will be relaxed and rejoice.

Seek the things above, where Christ is. – Jesus commanded us “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). Desire more than anything else to let the King rule in your heart; delight yourself in that, and “He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psa. 37:4). He promised us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6).

We can choose where to set our minds and what to seek, but we must consciously choose.

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