Perceive and Receive
Perspective can make all the difference in the world. Different views can be the culprit in arguments, loss of hope, and fear, But perspective can help you see opportunities, success, joy, and peace. God can shape our perspective but know, however, our natural viewpoint is never the same as God’s. But when we view things from God’s Word, our perspective can lead us to a changed heart, with peace and perseverance as our companions. When your filter is the Scriptures, a foundation of absolute truth, you can agree with what James tells us in his book in the Bible. In chapter 1, verses 2-3, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” I know what a radical idea it is to consider hard times as a reason for joy.
But when we suffer, we gain the endurance that helps us see life here as temporary. With our thoughts changing to this is not our home, we can begin to look forward to heaven. This thought process is typically more challenging for younger people to get comfortable with, but when you do, your whole life has a look of joy, success, less worry, not full of fear, and a better understanding of God’s purpose for your life.
Look at the NET translation of James 1:2:
My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials. (NET)
Hmmm, are you convinced? I wasn’t either.
Choosing Joy in your trials is a perspective change. So how do we get there? How do we find peace during our troubles? Let’s look to the expert, the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
In John, Chapter 16, Jesus is talking to His disciples (this is the night before He dies), and He talks about getting kicked out of the synagogue, facing grief, being killed, but ends with the promise of peace and joy.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Peace and joy are not contingent on our circumstances. Jesus said, “in me,” you may have peace. Peace is in Him- that’s the promise. He didn’t say, you won’t have troubles, but He did say, in your troubles, you may have peace.
If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are “in Him,” which equals peace. How do you receive that peace? Place your grief, your fears, dreams, worries, in His hands! He tells us at the beginning of verse 33, “I have told you…” When the Lord tells us something, we should listen to Him.
Father, I give you my grief, my fears, my worries. I need Your peace for today. Lord, I try to understand what you have allowed, but I know I am just an earthly-minded imperfect human and will never understand You, the Perfect Almighty God. Lord, grant me great ability to trust in You and change my perspective to Yours. Help me discover your joy and your peace in my trials. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.