Where are you looking today? Down at your problems, the nitty-gritty details of life, the here and now? I’m a detail-oriented person. You know the saying about not seeing the forest for the trees? That would definitely apply to me. I tend to go through life like a camera, zoomed in, noticing the details, focusing on what I’m doing, and forgetting to zoom out and see the big picture of what is around me. This is a reminder to both me and you to look up!
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
1. Looking Down, Feeling Down
Recently, one of my family members asked a medical worker why her neck bothers her when it never used to. His answer was that it probably resulted from a lot of time looking down. We started listing off a lot of the activities she does on a regular basis, and it was soon clear why her neck was affected by looking down! Nearly every activity she normally did involved looking down.
Think about your daily routine. Here are a few possible activities: making your bed, cooking, cleaning, working or relaxing with your phone or laptop, eating, and reading. So many things we do require us to look down!
While we physically look down a lot, how much are we also doing it mentally? We think about our shortcomings, the painful things we experience, our trials, bad news in the world, controversial topics and the arguments that revolve around them, and just the daily frustrations and irritations we face while living in a fallen world. There’s a lot to “look down” at, and if we choose to keep looking down, we can quickly be dragged down in our emotions.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
2. Look Up!
Earlier this month, I was having devotions on the front porch. My chair was in the sun so I moved it over to the shade where it was cooler. While I was sitting there, at some point I looked up and saw how beautifully the morning sunlight was glistening on the leaves in the nearby woods. You can see it in the above picture, though the photo doesn’t begin to do it justice. It was a gorgeous sight and one I would have missed had I failed to look up. Not only that, but the sight and the thoughts running through my mind became the inspiration to write this blog post.
How much we miss by not looking up! There is a lot of pain and nastiness in this world, and that fact can’t be denied. But there is also so much beauty and good around us, begging us to lift up our eyes, see God’s handiwork, and be encouraged.
Compare these two pictures. I took them while standing in the same spot. Pointing my camera down showed dry, brown grass that is mourning the burning heat and dry weather we’ve been having. But pointing my camera up showed the green tree leaves, blue sky, and a flash of the sun shining through. What a difference simply looking up can make.
Look up! Gaze on the vast host of stars overhead. Admire the fluffy clouds drifting peacefully through a blue sky. See the electrifying jagged flash of lightning split the darkness. Enjoy the leafy branches of a tall tree as they wave over your head. Watch the birds flutter through the air. Look up!
Look up! God is in Heaven, on the throne. He has everything under control. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” as Colossians tells you to do. You have hope in this life as Jesus walks by your side and hope for the next when He takes you to Heaven to be with Him forever. Notice the positive things in the people around you. Count your blessings. Look up!
3. Bible Verses That Say Look Up
When I was preparing to start writing this post, I did a search for the words “look up” in the Bible. I discovered four verses that contain this phrase, and I’d like to share them with you.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
How should we start our day each morning? By looking up. We need to look up to God, remembering that He is on the throne, and asking and trusting Him to take care of everything. There are things we face every day that our outside our control. While that’s hard and often frustrating when we just wish we could fix things, it also serves as a reminder of how much we need the One Who is in control of everything. It’s a reminder to look up to Him.
For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
The trials we face are not the only things that drag us down and make us struggle to look up. When we are weighed down by sin, we tend to pull away from God and look down at our failures and shortcomings in misery and despair. While we don’t want to look up, that is the very thing we need most, for only God can forgive us and restore us to fellowship. He is the lifter of our heads! “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3 Look up to Him. His arms are open to receive you, and in His mercy, He will forgive you and set you back on your feet and help you go forward.
After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
What a beautiful verse! Here we see Jesus’ compassion for a blind man he encountered. Jesus healed the man, giving him the precious gift of eyesight. But did you notice what he asked the man to do before his eyesight was restored? He asked him to look up. This took an act of faith for the man. He was still blind, in the dark, uncertain what the outcome would be, yet he took that step of faith and looked up.
Maybe you are discouraged today, struggling to trust that God even cares about you, not wanting to look up. Friend, don’t wait until you can see how things are going to turn out. By faith, look up, trusting that God loves you and will bring good out of your struggles.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
What a reason for us to lift up our heads! Our redemption draweth nigh. One day, all our struggles against sin and suffering will be over. Our Savior will take us home, and we shall be in His presence forever, safe. Lift up your head! The things you struggle against are only temporary. Your God is victorious, and as His child, His victory is your victory for the taking.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
My daily verses on my Bible app today go right along with this post.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
I hope this post has been encouraging to you. It has been a blessing to me to write it and share it with you as I also need to hear this. Let me leave you with this song: Look Up!
- Look up!
- Take some time to physically look up at God’s creation.
- Through the eyes of faith, look up, and trust God to bring good out of everything you’re facing.
What thought are you taking with you today from this post?
Until next time, look up!