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Keep Your Eyes on the Lord, Not the Problem

Keep Your Eyes on the Lord, Not the Problem

Editor’s note: Emerson Eggerichs is known world-wide for his book Love and Respect for husbands and wives. He says, “We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts when feeling disrespected and a wife reacts when feeling unloved.” The long-awaited Love and Respect Devotional has just been released. Enjoy this excerpt!


O our God... We are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You. — 2 Chronicles 20:12

Today’s scripture passage may suggest a familiar situation. You feel powerless before some problem ranging from serious to overwhelming. Marriage has a way of bringing us the “what do we do now?” moments, and no answers immediately come to mind. We don’t know what to do with a rebellious child, a medical report revealing cancer, more debt than income, an ailing parent, job loss — the list can be endless.

But you never have to feel totally powerless. Look at the rest of the verse: “but our eyes are on You.” The man who uttered these words had big problems indeed. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at a time when several enemy nations were gathered to march on Jerusalem and obliterate every Israelite they could find.

But Jehoshaphat had already made the first right move: he had gathered the nation of Judah together to pray, and after acknowledging to the Lord that he really had no clue about what to do, he added, “but our eyes are on You.”

You can read on in 2 Chronicles 20 to see how Judah was delivered from the hands of its enemies because the people knew “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15 NIV). There are rich truths in this story for every Love & Respect couple. Be aware that these “what do we do now?” moments can cause friction and tension between you. Gazing at the problem with anxiety and worry can result in unloving or disrespectful behavior. In short, you can get on the Crazy Cycle just like that.

Don’t let the problem get your eyes off the Lord!

In chapter 11 we learned that when a Pink wife and a Blue husband come together through the Love & Respect Connection, they become “one” and take on God’s royal color of Purple. This is the time to draw together as a real team, a team that wears Purple and can deal with that problem with strength and insight. Will the problem just go away? Not likely. Things don’t always turn out the way we would wish. For example, reflect on James, the brother of John, in contrast to Peter. Herod imprisoned both, but God allowed Herod to behead James (Acts 12:2), whereas an angel released Peter from the prison (Acts 12:7). Keep in mind that God remains sovereign, controlling the outcome, while our job is to keep our eyes on Him.

The apostle Paul faced all kinds of problems and hopeless situations. Recalling one of his missionary journeys, Paul says,

We were crushed and overwhelmed... and we thought we would never live through it... But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God. — 2 Corinthians 1:8–9 NLT

Paul learned again and again what it was like to feel powerless, knowing he could not trust himself. He learned not only to glance at problems but also to gaze on the Lord, fixing his eyes on Jesus. At the moment, you may or may not be facing circumstances that seem to render you powerless, but every day is an opportunity to trust the Lord. As a Purple Love & Respect couple, start every day by saying, “Our eyes are on You!”

Excerpted with permission from The Love and Respect Devotional by Emerson Eggerichs, copyright Emerson Eggerichs.

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Your Turn

Married couples face problems again and again. When a problem comes up, don’t let it get your eyes off the Lord! Come before Him together and ask for His help, intervention, guidance, and for His peace to reign between you. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full