In my last blog, I stated that Scripture alone – more than any other influence in our culture – is able to provide a truly healthy perspective. Romans 12:2 (NLT) supports this statement, AND the benefit to be gained. It says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” There is truly nothing like Scripture to reframe our perspective!
I believe the solution to our Perspective Predicament is applying God’s Word to our circumstances, our attitudes, and our actions. Friends, the Scriptures do not change! Nor should living our lives in accordance with them. The call of God remains the same. Yes, even into our 4th quarter of life. The values, principles and commands of Scripture are applicable to every season of life.
Perhaps you agree with these truths and also struggle with thoughts such as, “But my life has become dull”. Or perhaps you may feel as though your “best” is behind you. I can also imagine some thinking, “You don’t know the failures I’ve encountered, or the pain I’m living with. You don’t see how tired and out of energy I feel.”
How God’s Word Changes Our Perspective
Perspectives such as these are what I desire to challenge! The Word of God has the power to change the way we think. This is what will change our perspectives, and in turn, change the way we will view and act in the world.
A foundational and practical way to gain an accurate and healthy perspective is to develop a heart of thankfulness. As believers in Jesus, our eyes are open to the character and plan of God from Creation to Salvation. We have SO much for which to be thankful! Perhaps begin by rejoicing in the beauty around you. As Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth displays his handiwork.” And even if NO other good thing ever happened in our lives, we have been made alive in Christ forever because “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV).
Did you wake up today? Were you able to rise from your bed, have food to eat, see the sun, or hear someone’s laughter? Some days ARE hard, and it’s more challenging to give thanks. Yet if you begin – even with something small – I guarantee that choosing to give thanks to God will begin to transform your perspective into His.
A Perspective That Endures Hardships
At some point, your life WILL be impacted by the sadness and difficulties of this world. Only by having a healthy perspective will you be able to thrive amidst the storms life brings. This reminds me of a mission trip I took to Lima, Peru with Children’s Hunger Fund (www.childrenshungerfund.org). I had the privilege of delivering food to individuals living in the despair of extreme poverty. A place where even the most basic needs of humanity were scarcely met. And yet, inside some of those dilapidated shacks, I met folks whose love for Jesus shone brightly. Their joy reflected the kind of perspective I want to foster in my own life. A perspective so shaped by knowing Who God is and all He has done, that it doesn’t cease to praise Him and remain faithful – no matter what comes!
Friends, it is amidst darkness that God’s light shines most brightly. It is during heartache and disappointment that our strength is formed. I love the fourth stanza of the hymn, “How Firm a Foundation”, that states:
“When through fiery trails thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
Living With A Reframed Perspective
Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Yes, we face inner struggles – from self-focus and independence to all that comes with aging. Outer struggles, such as the forces of evil and our Western lifestyle, are also real. Both seek to shape our perspectives apart from Scripture. Will you take time to recognize the forces and influences impacting the perspectives you hold about your life now and into the 4th quarter? Will you commit to sustaining a healthy and accurate perspective that aligns with God’s own?
You CAN finish strong and be an instrument of influence and inspiration right up to the very end of your days. I think that’s the best perspective all of us can have!