I struggle with keeping my eyes where I need to. Paul told us, though, how to run the race of life that is set before us. (By the way, my race is different from yours, and your race is not as mine is; our unique race is custom designed for each one of us by our all-wise, loving Father God!) How, then, do I run my race? How do I hang in there when the going gets so rough? How do I persevere to the end - when there seems to never be an end to the weary struggle, and I wonder if I'm just spinning my wheels? The apostle Paul taught that the method to succeed in this running is by "looking unto Jesus." My eyes - and my thoughts - are naturally drawn to the circumstances around me that are affecting me. This is normal, a tendency built into us all as human beings. But, it's not the way to be able to "run the race" - to live my life as my higher nature desires to. For that, I must go beyond normal and natural, and I must move into the supernatural. And to do that, I need to change my focus. Anything I accomplish in life (or fail to) depends on where I fix my focus.
How can we keep hope alive in such a world as we live in? God wants his people able to "abound in hope," to be buoyant and triumphant. But we are often surrounded in life by awful and merciless forces that seem they may overwhelm us at any moment. Although we try to remain hopeful, our hope may be undermined by depression stemming from disappointed plans or dreams, poverty or failing health, betrayal in relationships or cruel ingratitude, slighted love or deep loneliness. These, and innumerable more circumstances, flood over us like a hurricane that threatens to sweep us away and drown us.