I’ve recently been going through a lot in my life. Sickness has struck my family in a devastating way, our finances have been assaulted in a hard way and our hopes for the coming year and our future in general have been attacked and on the surface it has looked as though much is no longer possible.
It has been difficult to bear the issues we’ve had to deal with. Physical loss hits hard, the apparent loss of dreams and hopes hits even harder. The Bible tells us “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12a), which suggests depression, and that we should “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
The trick above all else, however, is to retain our perspective.
When our focus is on self, the things of this world will grow massive. They weigh us down and leave us desolated by the sheer enormity of them. Our inability to see past them because of our perspective cripples our ability to move on and beyond the initial pain.
Focus on God, however, allows us to overcome the issues we face in any circumstance – and I do mean any circumstance.
On the night before he was crucified, Jesus took his disciples on a “crash-course” of what they would need to get through the loss of everything they had placed their future on. In the course of the next 24 hours they would face loss and grief, the possibility of arrest, torture and even death. They would apparently lose the hope they had placed in Him, and everything they had built their entire future on.
Jesus took them through His teachings, but the first thing He taught them was to maintain perspective – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1)
That perspective alone was enough to keep the disciples strong. In the years after the resurrection they endured much that when we look at it now seems almost unendurable. They were persecuted and executed for their faith in horrific ways, yet their perspective kept them strong – and it can do the same for us. Paul lists some of the things he endured in his life after his conversion en route to Damascus, and then describes them as “our light affliction, which is but for a moment” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Our perspective is paramount. In the end, everything is about God. We were created to worship, and we all worship something. When we direct that worship where it was designed to be directed – at God – we can deal with anything and everything the world can possibly throw at us. When we direct at self, or anything else for that matter, we inevitably cannot cope when things go wrong because we have no support for our hearts.
It’s all about Jesus at the end of the day. We cannot live without Him and we cannot hope to move forward without His perfect guidance in our lives.