Monday, April 27, 2020

The Upward Gaze

By: Joanne Viola

We are turning this week to Psalm 123, the fourth of the Psalms of Ascent, where we find the psalmist turning his eyes to look to God. It is with this act of gazing upward that we can come to understand the stance of faith.
“Faith is the upward vision of the believing soul, looking beyond the circumstances of life to the Lord himself, who stands behind those events and presides over them for his glory. Faith sees that God has an eternal purpose in all things, an all-wise plan for all that occurs.”
(Holman Old Testament Commentary, Vol. 12, page, 272)
So what can we learn about faith from this psalm?
  • We must look solely to God. “I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven” (Psalm 123:1, NLT). No matter what is going on in our lives, we must look solely to God. God is seated on His throne and in absolute authority over all events which occur. He is worthy of our trust.
  • Look to God for His mercy. “We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy …” (Psalm 123:2, NLT). Servants and slave girls knew to look to their masters for protection and provision. We must also look and rely continually to our God to meet our needs.
  • Maintain steady focus on God. “We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant” (Psalm 123:4, NLT). In spite of enduring much difficulty, we must keep our eyes on the Lord, maintaining steady focus on the source of all our help.
As we continue to move through these uncertain and shifting days, may we keep our eyes on God. He has eternal purpose in all things, and we can trust His all wise plan for all that occurs.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay


  1. The hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus came to mind the last couple of days. How we need to keep our focus on Him in every circumstance.

    1. Barbara, that hymn has been coming to my mind as well. It's amazing how those words are always so meaningful.

  2. Joanne,
    I once did a study on the Psalms of Ascent. How important and crucial it is to keep a keen eye focused on where our help comes from. Especially during these uncertain times, we need to not look down upon our circumstances, but up to the One who holds the universe in His hands.
    Bev xx

    1. Bev, I have found looking at each of these to be so timely and encouraging.


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