(James Smith, "A New Year's Motto" 1865)
"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 . . .
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!"
Do not look back — as Lot's wife did.
Do not look within — as too many do.
Do not look around — as David did.
But "look up!" Look up to God — He is your Father, your Friend, your Savior. He can help you. He will help you. He says, "Look unto Me, and be delivered — for I am God!"
Look up for light to guide you — and He will direct your path.
Look up for grace to sanctify you — and the grace of Jesus will be found sufficient for you.
Look up for strength to enable you to do and suffer God's will — and His strength will be made perfect in your weakness.
Look up for comfort to cheer you — and as one whom his mother comforts, so will the Lord comfort you.
Look up for courage to embolden you — and the Lord will give courage to the faint; and to those who have no might — He will increase strength.
Look up for endurance to keep you — and the God who preserves you will enable you quietly to bear the heaviest burden, and silently to endure the most painful affliction.
Look up for providence to supply you — and the jar of flour will not be used up, and the jug of oil will not run dry; but God shall supply all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Look up in faith — exercising confidence in the Word of a faithful God.
Look up in prayer — asking for what God has graciously promised.
Look up in hope — expecting what you ask in the name of Jesus.
Look up with adoration — and adore the sovereignty, righteousness, and wisdom of God.
Look up constantly — let nothing daunt or discourage you! Rather say, "Our eyes are on the Lord our God — until He shows us mercy."
Look up — for this will keep . . .
the head from swimming,
the heart from sinking,
the knees from trembling,
the feet from slipping, and
the hands from hanging down!
It is impossible to say what will happen to us, or what will be required of us this year — but "Look up!" This direction, if properly attended to, will . . .
procure for us all that we need,
secure us against all that we dread, and
make us more than a match for all our foes and fears!
Fellow-Christian, are you fearful? "Look up" and hear Jesus saying to you, "Do not be afraid — I Myself will help you!"
Are you discouraged? "Look up" — and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle's, and fresh light, comfort, and courage shall be given to you!
Are you desponding? "Look up" for Jesus never breaks the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax.
Do not look too much at your sin — but look at the infinitely meritorious blood of God's dear Son!
Do not look too much at self — but look at Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for you in Heaven.
Are you stripped of your comforts, your props, and your goods? Then look up! He who stripped you — loves you! He will be more than all these to you! He will . . .
bind up your broken heart,
calm your perturbed spirit,
cheer your drooping mind, and
fill you with His own peace and happiness.
Look up . . .
for all that you need;
from all that you fear;
through all that would obstruct your way.
Look up every day, saying with David, "In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You — and will look up!" Psalm 5:3
Look up in every trial, saying "I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help: my help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth!"
Do not look at your sin — it will discourage you!
Do not look at your self — it will distress you!
Do not look at Satan — he will bewilder you!
Do not look to men — they will deceive, or disappoint you!
Do not look at your trials — they will deject you!
"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!