“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” has been one of my all-time favorite hymns. In her book, Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick expands on this idea of turning your eyes away from yourself to focus on Christ and what He has done. She talks about how simple this act really can be. “The shifting of your eyes from the page of this book to another object doesn’t require great skill, deep understanding, or monumental strength. It simply requires a desire to do so. That’s what faith is–a looking away from yourself to Someone else.”
But faith goes deeper than merely looking at Christ. Elyse continues, “No, the bronze serpent and the crucified Son are agents of healing only when our gaze gives evidence to the simple belief that good will come to us from God. Faith, then, is a trusting in the love and mercy of God. It is hoping for an unseen mercy; it is a conviction that God desires to bless us (Hebrews 11:1).”
I had not before made the connection between my faith in God and believing that He promises to do all things for my good (Romans 8:28). I’m not just trusting in general; I’m trusting because of specific promises God has made to me. In addition to Hebrews 11:1, verse 6 of this chapter also captures the idea of trusting in the goodness of God: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick expands more on the illustration of turning your eyes. She says, “Look up from your reading again and focus on that other object for a moment. When you looked away, you couldn’t read this page, could you? In the same way, the Lord calls us to fasten our eyes on Him and not on all the sinful toxins in our heart. We’re invited to look away from ourselves and our great need and to focus on His overflowing bounty…”
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)
Our eyes can only focus in one place at a time. If I am focused inward on myself or my worries, I cannot see Christ. The exact opposite is also true; when my eyes are fixed on Him, “all the things of earth will grow strangely dim.” That is where I would rather be. And it is only a matter of turning my eyes to focus again on truth.
Elyse Fitzpatrick exhorts: “Will you lift your eyes to Him today? Will you transfer all your trust to Him and believe that the One who did not withhold His only Son from you will also freely give you all good things?” (Romans 8:32)