A blog post by Vicki Graff
Recently a daughter was reading Romeo and Juliet. There was a good deal of giggling. Strange, as that particular story is known as a tragedy. Why was she laughing? She chose to read it as a comedy. Seeing Romeo as a pathetic teen boy and his ‘whining’ as laughable. Her sister said, “It’s a matter of perspective.”
Perspective is a powerful lens that shapes your attitude and behavior. I lived much of my life as a pessimist. A firmly embedded habit, it was an unconscious defense against disappointment and sorrow. I expected and saw the negative side of plans and people. Now, maturing in the Word and faith, I am practicing putting on the lens of the scripture to view life.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I’m not talking about thinking positive, name it and claim it, or putting on a Pollyanna perspective. Rather, living within the Bible's promises. Believing and applying the truths of Scripture to the events and experiences that we react to all day long. Criticism that crushes. Trials that feel overwhelming. Grief that consumes. Accusing guilt. Struggles and doubts that discourage and weaken. Sin that separates. Bitterness to bind us. Pain and anger to prevent forgiving. A world full of lies and distractions.
Grasping firmly to the Biblical truth that, as a beloved and treasured child of God, I am forgiven and embraced for a purpose, known and held by Him. Empowered with strength to stand before enemies and temptation. Enabled to love and forgive through His mercy and grace applied. Living in hope that overcomes all trials, failures, sickness and grief by holding onto the promise of eternal life and a heavenly dwelling that is a blink away through Him. Believing He acts from love and knows best.
This only happens with deliberate devotion to God’s truth through study, prayer and fellowship. Being saturated in His influence to overcome all others. Nothing good will come from a casual faith. An acquaintance with Christ and His church results in an ineffectual anemic Christian defined by hypocrisy. The Biblical promises need to be a part of you, believed and applied. A conscious effort on your part, but what joy when you find that the hope and joy within has become a part of your thoughts, coping skills and reactions. A new lens to see the world in the light of Christ and His Word.
1st Peter 1: 3-7 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Study the Word. His truth cannot come out if it does not dwell within. Pray to know Him and understand His Word because this is not something you can do alone. The depth of His riches are deeper than a passing glance but the Holy Spirit is a willing guide. Fellowship for edification and encouragement because the Lord uses us for each other.
Recently, a longstanding misunderstanding of myself and my motives was immediately overturned by one sentence spoken to me. She had no idea that her words brought revelation and repentance. I thanked the Lord in prayer for her faithfulness to nurture her faith which in turn, strengthened mine. I hope the Lord will use me in the same way for another.
Titus 3: 4-7 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”