Look Up Not Down
by Joanne Ellison

What a week this has been! My church, St. Andrews Mount Pleasant, burned down a week ago today. If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s blog, here is the link. My week was spent putting out other personal fires and I discovered that I had to move out of my kitchen sooner than expected just before going to do a conference in Montreat. Whew… glad it’s Monday. A new week with a fresh start. Or is it how that works? We just wait until the page turns to another day.. just get by.. grin and bear it? Tomorrow will be better.

Friends, that is not the Christian life. Jesus made it very clear that in this life there will be stress, trials and hard days; BUT GOD.

The amazing thing is that Jesus went on to say that as the Overcomer, He will help you through; that in the midst of the trials He is there. Now here is the problem. It’s is difficult when the hard things mount up and there is no relief. And each trial may cause us to look down and not up. The big bad army of D’S, threatens to wear us out.






Maybe even DENIAL that this is happening.

Here is the key and I like to think that this is one of the keys to the kingdom– LOOK UP. 

On the road to Emmaus, two people were walking along discussing the events that had just taken place in Jerusalem. Their hopes for a King who would deliver them from Roman oppression were dashed. His name was Jesus and He now lay in a grave, having been crucified. I imagine that their heads were down as they walked along the road sharing their disappointment, discouraged as they saw their dreams shattered. Perhaps they had a sense of dread as to their future. One thing we know for sure, they were trying to figure out what went wrong. And along the way, Jesus showed up. Scripture tells us they were kept from recognizing Him. I’m not sure why, but perhaps they could not recognize Him because their heads were down; they barely looked up as they were depressed and full of doubt.

When Jesus inquired as to what had happened, He was told about Jesus and what had transpired to Him ending with….

And we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. 

Friends, are you downcast, discouraged, resigned to a life that is hopeless? LOOK UP. The one who is HOPE is walking beside you. Your eyes may be on the extreme pain and hurt of your circumstances, but He is there. He promised He would never leave or forsake you and sent His Holy Spirit to guide you into Truth.

As they continued down the road, Jesus began to speak. He shared the testimony of how the prophets had gone before them prophesying these events. But they had missed it or misunderstood, or perhaps had never heard or read the Word. We simply do not know. One thing we do know is that after Jesus had left, they exclaimed:  Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scripture? 

Friends, if you are in a place of deep discouragement, LOOK UP. Jesus is walking beside you. Open your Scriptures and sit beside The Living Stream. He has promised to lead you in His Word. His Presence is with you.

When Jesus broke bread with these two men, their eyes were opened. Jesus tells us that He stands at the door and knocks. Do you hear Him knocking on the door of your heart today?

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (Revelation 3:20)




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  1. Jan Eldred

    Thank you so much, Joanne. You are so encouraging!

  2. Libby Aycock

    Did not receive email

    • Drawing Near to God

      Libby, did you sign up to receive Joanne’s blog via email and did not receive? So sorry if that is the case. With your permission, we can sign you up on our end. Blessings!

  3. Rachel d Siegfried

    Thanks, Joanne.

    Your post was very encouraging.
    I kept thinking of Mandisa’s lyrics:

    “You are an overcomer.
    Stay in the fight until the final round.
    You’re not going under-
    Because God is holding you right now.

    You might be down for a moment
    Feeling like it is hopeless
    That is when HE reminds you
    That you are an overcomer.
    You are an overcomer.”

    Thanks for reminding us that we are overcomers.

  4. in the know

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

    • joanneellison

      So glad that this post helped your friend and even a free lunch! Never been told that before:) God bless!

  5. Sandra St. John

    So often it seems those big bad army of “D’s” lead us into the physical posture of question mark “?” Head down and slumped over questioning our reason for being. Those “D’s” do not do a body, mind, soul or heart any good. But a simple choice to “Look Up” to the creator begins the process that can change our posture from a “?” to a “!” and lead us on a path of hope as we gaze upon Jesus and look to Him to lead the way.

    Thank you for the reminder. Today I will LOOK UP! Amen!

    • joanneellison

      So true Sandra! Love what you said about changing our posture from ? to ! Blessings! Joanne


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