Gaining Perspective

LIFE CAN REALLY SUCK SOMETIMES!!!

Isaiah 45:5-7 (NLT)
I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, 6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things. 

About ten years ago my family had the opportunity to travel to Israel for a vacation.  What an great place to visit – the place Jesus walked – the land of the Bible – it was wonderful seeing all the sights; in fact, my understanding of many Bible stories has changed because I now see the story through the lens of our travels there.  Nevertheless, trip wasn’t all rosy.  Upon arriving in the Holy Land, each one of came down with a horrible case of the stomach flu (you know the kind that keeps you in the bathroom for several hours at a time).  as the first few days of our visit continued, our two year old daughter kept getting sicker and sicker until she passed out on the floor and went into a seizure.  We (Jen & I) were scared to death about the situation; we rushed her to the hospital and waited for hours and then days for test to be done and Morgan to regain her strength.  During the ordeal I recall Jen asking me a simple question; “Why is this happen to our little Morgan?”  I didn’t know, all I could tell her was some canned answer – God is trying to teach us something (that was real comforting).  Truth is, I didn’t know why we were in the hospital, why our daughter had a seizure, why it had to happen in a foreign country where we didn’t know the language, why we felt alone even though we had extended family with us.  We were scared.

ImageIsaiah chapter 45 has some insight into what life can bring our way and I hope to give some clarity in how we should respond when our faith is tested.

Here’s a little test, see how you would answer or have answered these life situations:

  • How do you react when your computer crashes with your homework on it or an important document and it wasn’t saved?
  • How do you react when your car won’t start and you are already late to work or school?
  • How do you react when a loved one dies or becomes seriously ill for no apparent reason?
  • How do you react with something you value is stolen?  Why was it YOUR stuff?
  • How do you react when you or someone you know is mistreated or hurt?  Here in our community a young lady, Kelley Hulburt, was the victim of a hit and run on the evening of July 4th – she died of her accident and yet the perpetrator remains at large.

What will you do when your faith is tested?

Isaiah 45:5-7 (NLT)
I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, 6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.

Here are three key thoughts from the passage that we should consider:

1. There is ONE GOD, yet we replace Him with our stuff and/or other people.  So, when our stuff doesn’t work the way we want or something happens to our relationships (conflict, crises, or abandonment) we lose our perspective on life.

2.  We have EVERYTHING we need to do battle in life.  We have God’s Word, yet we neglect to actually study and meditate on it.  We have Godly friends, yet we refuse to share with them the hurt and pain in our life – we simply brush things off by saying things like, “I’m okay,”  or “Everything is fine,”  when we know life really sucks right now for us.  We also have pray, yet we forget to “cast all our cares to God,” we forget that He truly does care for us.

3.  God doesn’t tempt us but He does allow GOOD and BAD things to happen to us (go ahead and reread verse 7 again).  God is testing us to see how we will respond.  How are you doing on the test?

So here it is, how do we respond to life’s struggles?  Good?  Bad? Anger?  Depression?  Despair?  Read this carefully:  When we respond to life’s struggles with a bad attitude I am really saying with my actions, “GOD YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF THIS OR ANYTHING.”

let me say that again:

When we respond to life’s struggles with a bad attitude I am really saying with my actions, “GOD YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF THIS OR ANYTHING.”

As a Christian, it is important to realize that God is in control because it gives us a healthy perspective of life.  He IS the Creator of ALL things.  He KNOWS much more and can see across the timeline of the universe.  

GAINING PERSPECTIVE

When life really sucks here are a few tips to help gain perspective:

1.  Wrestle with your thoughts about who God is and if you believe He is in control.

2.  Talk about the crisis and disappointment that comes your way with other godly friends or a pastor.

3.  Remind yourself that “GOD IS IN CONTROL”  (put it on a plaque in your room).

4.  Practice talking about God to others (talk about what He is doing in your life).

5.  Learn to love unconditionally; even those people you struggle with in life.

For more information on this topic I would recommend the book Raising a Modern Day Joseph.

I hope today’s blog has brought some hope and perspective to your life.

 

 

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