“Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” Luke 21:28
We are entering upon a new year, we shall have new toils, new trials, new temptations, and new troubles; but whenever they come — let us “look up!”
There may be national calamities — such as pestilence, famine, or war. . .
There may be persecution — laborers may lose their jobs, cottagers their cottages, and children many of their comforts, for Christ’s and conscience’ sake.
Providence may frown and throw us into perplexity and difficulty; losses and crosses may become almost our daily lot; we may think that God is turned against us, and that everything is contrary to us. . .
We may be called to change our residences, and leave dear friends and connections behind us; or, what is worse, our friends may be alienated from us, and turn against us. . . If death should enter in at our windows, and take away the desire of our eyes with a stroke; if our parents should die, our children be removed, or our wives or husbands be laid in the grave. . .
If darkness becloud our evidences, obscure our path, and throw its gloom over our minds; if discouragement brood over our souls, or place stumbling-blocks in our way. . .
If thrown on the bed of sickness, racked with pain and fainting with weakness; if death stand before us, and the grave appear ready for us; if eternity throws its revealing light upon us, or draws back its curtain to us —
Let us not tremble, or shake with fear, but let us “look up.” In whatever state, in whatever place, into Whatever condition we may be brought this year — let us seek grace to follow our Lord’s loving advice, and “look up.”
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us — looking unto Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith!” Hebrews 12:1-2. Look only, look always, look intently, to Jesus; run looking, work looking, fight looking, suffer looking, live looking, and die looking — to Jesus, who is at God’s right hand in glory. Oh, look, look, look to Jesus!
-James Smith, 1865