How do you keep your focus on God and not your problems?
We stop focusing on our problems and start focusing on God when we accept the fact we have no control over our lives and instead rest our minds and hearts in the full assurance that God is in complete control. In other words, we must learn to trust God. Through these five simple ways, we can learn to keep our focus on God and off our problems.
- Remember God is Bigger Than Your Problems
- Lean on God, not on others
- Focus on God first & others second
- Make God a priority every day
- Release control to God
Your relationship with God is the most important relationship you will have in your lifetime. Family will pass away, friends will come and go, but God is with you every single day of your life. We must embrace God for who He truly is and walk by that truth. If you’re not saved or not sure what it means to be a Christian, read the article I wrote about salvation.
1. God Is Bigger Than Your Problems
God has designed everything we see and don’t see in this world. He’s the Creator and Sustainer in all life. Our problems are often merely inconveniences that are here one day and gone the next.
Oftentimes our life is like a jigsaw puzzle. We might be looking at one little piece that looks strange and confusing, but to God, who has the box top of our life, it makes perfect sense.
Here are a few quick tips to help you keep your problems in the right perspective in life in relation to God.
- The pain is temporary and can bring you closer to God. Psalm 34:18 promises us that God is near the brokenhearted.
- No matter the struggle we have in this world, we know Jesus has overcome the world. John 16:33 tells us that Jesus has done so.
- God can and will use everything in our lives for good. Romans 8:28 promises to us that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
- Hardship is to be considered a joy due to the fact it’s a testing of our faith. James 1:2-4 tells us this fact. So, if it’s not joyful, we need to ask God for help in that area. Joy must depend on the Lord who never changes, not on the circumstance which is always changing. You can learn about joy in the Lord by reading the Bible verse found in Nehemiah 8:10.
For God to be bigger than your problems, you need to start trusting God completely.
The Importance of Focusing on God
Why focus on God? Because He is the Author and Designer of your life. He holds all knowledge, wisdom, and insight not only into the most intimate details of your life but also the world around you. He is in everything, He is on everything, He is everything to the one who believes. God far surpasses the size of our problems and we get a clear understanding of that when we’re focused on Him.
When we, as God’s creation, make the decision to focus on God every day of our life, we are able to make better decisions for ourselves, our families, and for those with who we come in contact daily.
We were created in God’s Image (Genesis 1:27). He is a relational God, who was in a continual relationship in eternity past. All three parts of God work together in a relationship with one another. We were designed in the beginning to be in a relationship with God. Our focus being set on God will keep us in harmony with Him, the way He designed us to operate in the beginning.
Focus on God Throughout The Day
How do you focus on God throughout the day? By making a decision every morning and throughout each hour of the day to put God above all else. This starts by renewing your mind daily through the reading of God’s Word as you reject the evils of the world all around you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Big God, small problems. Small God, Big problems.”
Whether you have or not is not important.
What’s important is the truth in the saying. The more we are focused on God, the bigger He is, and that’s why it’s so important to keep Him at the center of our thinking all throughout the day. As we keep God our focus, His control and goodness will be more evident in our lives.
2. Lean On God, Not On Others
How do you lean on God? By going to God first with every concern you have in your life. Whether it’s a stubbed toe or a huge decision to make, you go to God. Through this act, you will not only be leaning on God but trusting Him with your life.
One of the hardest things I’ve learned in my Christian walk with the Lord has been the concept of going to God before anyone else.
How easy is it to pick up a phone? Send a text? Gab to the spouse about an infraction?
And how more difficult is it to pray? To go first to God with our every concern?
I hate that it’s this way, and I’m sure you share that same feeling. We wish we were better Christians in that regard, at least I do.
If we truly want to go to God first, there are a few things we should keep fresh in our minds in order to accomplish this type of reliance on the Lord.
- You won’t go first to God if you weren’t already thinking of Him. This is one of the reasons why daily prayer and Bible study are so important. If He’s fresh in our mind, already on it through constant prayer, we’ll naturally start talking to Him first.
- Have a habit of continual prayer. When you wake, when you eat, when you shower, get dressed, and drive. Make your life a constant stream of prayer to God.
- Don’t let failure stop you from trying again. Just because you messed up doesn’t give you permission to give up. Look at all the examples in the Bible of people who failed and kept going despite the failure.
Following God Instead Of The World
How do you follow God instead of the world? By learning to love God with all your heart. This comes through dedicated times of study and prayer, learning more about God through His Word, and understanding who He is at deeper levels.
As you draw close to God, He will draw close to you.
God desires our hearts. As you read the Scriptures and learn more of God, He will see that truth shine through all of the Bible. From the Old Testament, and His desire of Israel’s heart and into the New Testament with the ministry and love of Jesus Christ. He desires a relationship with us, His creation.
Staying Focused on God In Relationships
How does a person stay focused on God in relationships? By keeping God at the top of the relationship pyramid. He must be the One true love of our heart, resting in His rightful position at the top.
We are better-equipped spouses, parents, friends, and family members when we keep God at the top.
Staying Close To God At All Times
How does a Christian stay close to God at all times? By becoming so dependent on God that it’s like oxygen to them.
There’s an old story about a guru who was asked by a student how to find success in life.
He told the student, “Meet me at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning at the ocean.”
The student went home, slept, and got up early to go meet the guru.
He found the guru on the beach, out in the tide. He motioned the student to come into the water.
As the student traveled out, the guru went further into the water, still motioning the student to come closer.
Finally, the guru stopped and the student came to the guru, the water about to his chin.
The guru asked, “You still want to know how to find success?”
The student nodded, trying to keep his head above the water.
The guru said, “good.” Then he placed his hand on top of the student’s head and push him under. He held his head underwater.
The student kept calm for a moment, but then he needed air so he fought to come up, but the guru kept his head underwater.
Finally, just moments from blacking out, the student mustered enough strength to fight his way to the surface for air.
The guru said, “you have to want it as bad as you wanted air.”
The point is, if you desire to stay close to God at all times, you have to be desperate for God in a way like the student in the story. You will have to fight every day to keep close to God.
Bible verses like this one in Proverbs have to become a way of life for you.
The Bible, and the Scriptures, must become more than just words on pages, and instead become part of who you are as a person.
Special note for dads. Read about the characteristics of a strong godly father.
3. Focus On God First, Others Second
How do you focus on God first? By having everything in your life be an outpouring of your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It’s through a relationship with Jesus Christ, through faith, that will enable you to focus on God first every single day.
This doesn’t mean people are unimportant, it just means that they come second to God. We have the perfect example of this type of behavior in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ while He was on this planet. Often, He went away to pray. He was keeping God first and foremost throughout His time here.
Above is just a couple of examples of when Jesus went off to pray. Focusing on God first means communicating with Him. We do this most often through prayer and Bible study (read more about three things every Christian should do here). Through daily habits of connecting with God, we will be able to focus on God fully and to do His will in our lives.
What God First Means
What does God first mean? It means having nobody and nothing more important in our lives. This follows the Biblical command laid out in the ten commandments to have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).
In today’s world, we don’t have the traditional gods we see in ancient times of the Bible. Instead, we have modern-day gods such as: self, sports, celebrities, materialism.
What happens if you don’t put God first?
If you don’t put God first, you will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7-9). It’s important to note here, you do not reap in the same season you sow. So, a person might not see any impact on their life as they go day by day, but over the course of their life, they will see (or reap) the lasting consequences of their actions. This can come in the form of unnecessary hardships, unwise decision-making, or other unforeseen consequences. Ultimately, when a person decides not to put God first, there are lasting consequences in their life.
In relationships, if you do not put God first, this is also true. If you have relationships that do not line up with what the Bible says is good, what God says is good, you are acting against God’s Word. You are sowing seeds that you might not want to reap as a believer. The Bible verses that deal with reaping and sowing are as follows.
Based on the Bible verses above, it’s clear that there is a lasting consequence for the man or woman who decides not to put God first. This is true in relationships as well as any and all parts of life.
Through keeping God first, we are then equipped to serve and love others second.
4. Make God A Priority Every Day
How do you make God a priority every day? By actively seeking Him through prayer and Bible reading, as well as seeking to glorify Him through your actions, thoughts, and speech.
People live busy lives and it’s easy to lose track of priorities. If you’re a person who has struggled in the past in making God a priority, you’re not alone.
Many Christians love the idea of reading the Bible and praying more, but can’t seem to shake the struggle to actually accomplish it in their life.
Here are a few quick tips on how to make God a priority every day:
- Set aside time for reading the Bible, even if it’s only 5 minutes a day to start.
- Thank God in prayer as soon as you wake up and as soon as you lay down
- Start praying as soon as you get into the car
- Pray with your spouse and children over meals
- Ask yourself if what you’re about to do or say honors God
These are just a few ways to get you started in the right direction of making God a priority.
What is God’s priority?
God’s priority is outlined in the Bible when Jesus commanded the Apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations. God’s priority is saving souls for His Kingdom.
When we are focused on God, we’re not concerned about our problems, instead, we are focused on His top priority which is making disciples for Him!
When we stop focusing on our problems and instead focus on God and His desires, our minds and hearts become aligned with His. We start thinking with God-sized thinking. Scripture also points to the heart of God’s desire in the book of First Timothy.
Stop for a moment and think about your neighbor. Think about your aunt or uncle who doesn’t know Christ. There’s a world full of people needing a Savior. They need the good news of the Gospel and it’s us who can deliver it through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
What happens when we prioritize God?
When we prioritize God in our lives, something amazing happens. We start trusting Him more which results in less stress knowing we have a loving God who is taking care of us. Another result is how much we love other people because of the surpassing love we have received from our Heavenly Father. Our lives are transformed and lived out in a way that brings glory to God while pointing people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Here are a few areas you’ll see leaps in bounds when you prioritize God and focus more on Him than your problems:
- Better relationships
- Contentment with what you have
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Improved sleep
Some might argue with the list, but it’s what I’ve experienced. Stress especially plays a huge role in a person’s life. I’ve also seen an increased desire to take care of the body I have due to a priority of God in my life and an intentional focus on Him. Things like eating right and exercise weren’t even on my radar until I started talking to God about them and thinking about how God gave me this brain and body as a gift to take care of.
5. Release Control To God
How do you release control to God? It’s trusting God over your circumstances and emotions. It’s knowing in your heart and mind that God is in control no matter what is going on around you. You release control by believing in His Word and trusting it above all else, even when what’s happening doesn’t make sense. You must take your thoughts captive, battling against lies and untruth.
The Bible speaks of taking every thought captive. It’s an important part of every Christian’s walk.
Worldly thinking that positions itself against God must be brought down. The worldly way of thinking, which can even influence the Christian, tells us that its way is better than God’s way. Remember that this letter was to the church, not to the world as a whole. We as Christians are influenced if we do not stand guard against worldly thinking.
When we start to think worldly we must stop and take the thought(s) captive, bringing them under the submission of Christ. We do this through the renewing of our minds through the Word (Romans 12:2).
As we take thoughts captive, we are then enabled to release control to God in our lives. Instead of thinking that we can handle it, instead of thinking we know what’s best, we live in submission and reliance on God.
What does the Bible say about letting God take control?
The Bible says plenty about letting God take control of our lives. Job tells us in chapter 12:10 ‘in whose hand is the life of every living thing…’ Committing this to our minds, and let God write this truth onto the tablets of our hearts is critical. As we do, we realize that we aren’t giving God control, but merely realizing He is already the One truly in control.
Knowing God is in control allows us to release control to God and trust Him more. Romans 8 adds a comforting promise we can grasp hold of in our hearts as it assures us that God is working for the good in our lives.
It’s one thing to read and know this promise in Romans 8:28, it’s another thing to live your life in a way that shows the evidence of believing it to be true.
As we focus on God and not on our problems, our ability to trust God in every circumstance and live out the faith will become easier.
The more we understand the tender love, compassion, and care of God, the easier it is to let go and accept letting God take control of our lives. Here is another Bible verse that helps us draw comfort from God.
While this promise was for Israel originally, it’s no less true for every Christian today. God has a plan for your life and it’s through this fact we can find rest in releasing that control that we think we have in our circumstances.
How To Surrender All To God
How do you surrender all to God? Through going to Jesus Christ. We must come to Him. Life can be difficult and laborsome, creating within us a wearisome heart. The King of all the universe, the comforter, invites us into a true and intimate relationship with Him. He says of himself that He is gentle and humble and He will give us rest.
In order to surrender all to God, we must come to Him and learn of Him. We can’t rely on what others say about Him, we can’t even rely on the pastor! We must come to Him and get to know who He is.
This can be a difficult concept for many, but it doesn’t have to be complex.
First, we must be saved. Romans 10:9 tells us, ‘that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’
Secondly, we must abide in Christ.
Ask yourself this question… How much better is it to surrender everything to a God you know intimately and know personally. A God you know is caring for you, loving you, and has your best interest in mind?
As stated in the passage above in Matthew 11, Jesus’ yoke is easy. It’s not difficult. This isn’t some complicated and impossible puzzle to figure out.
God doesn’t make it complicated for us.
As we abide or rest in Christ, we will experience the love and joy of God.
Finding rest in the loving arms of God, we are able to focus more on Him and less on everything else going on.
How To Let God Lead You
We let God lead us by staying close to Him through His Word and prayer. As we live by faith and not by sight, living lives that are for Christ and not ourselves, we give control of our lives to God.
When we accept and acknowledge God’s control over our lives, we are able to focus on Him fully, not focusing on the problems in our lives. Through this act, we let God lead and direct our paths.
Here’s a quick recap of the five simple ways we can keep our focus on God and off the problems in our lives.
- Remember God is Bigger Than Your Problems
- Lean on God, not on others
- Focus on God first & others second
- Make God a priority every day
- Release control to God
Looking for additional help in cultivating more of your focus on God? Check out our resource center where you can find recommended reads in both fiction and non-fiction.