“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
People can look at the exact same thing and yet see it completely differently. Imagine a cool November day with the backyard covered in leaves. A seven year old looks out the window and laughs as he envisions jumping in a huge pile with his friends. That child’s grandfather, however, has other feelings as he pictures the hours of raking and sore back that await him. Years of work have given him a different perspective on leaves!
In a “me-centered” society like ours it is so easy to be pulled into a wrong way looking at life. How often do we view the flight delay, the annoying neighbor, the injury, the crying baby, the trade, and the hectic schedule only as they affect ME? I don’t like it – so it’s bad. It makes my life harder – so it’s bad. It’s not what I wanted – so it’s bad. But don’t I believe that God is good? Or is He only good when I approve of what He does?
The way we interpret and react to things is determined by our personal circumstances, our understanding of the situation, our experience, and our beliefs. My reactions to life’s situations demonstrate what I truly believe – not just what I say I believe.
If I really know Christ, then I need to begin to view the world around me, including the circumstances of daily life, the way He does.
- He loved the world – EVERYONE in the world – enough to give His life for them. (John 3:16)
- I am never alone, because He will never leave me. (Hebrews 13:5)
- Being rich toward God is much more important than being wealthy. (Luke 12:15)
- I can be joyful in difficult circumstances, because I know they will produce patience and maturity in my life. (James 1:2-4)
- God does not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can handle, and He provides a way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- God is God, and deserves my love, honor and obedience. (Revelation 5:12)
- People are lost without Christ, and I am responsible to tell them. (Matthew 18:19-20)
If I truly believe that the Bible is the Word of God, it will change my perspective on everything in my life, and my way of thinking will change my words and my actions!
Prayer: O Lord God, please help me to be mature in my thinking, and to live out my beliefs in every aspect of my life as I demonstrate my trust in you.
Suggested Reading: Hebrews 5:11-6:3