"With the kind, You show Yourself kind; with the blameless, You show Yourself blameless…" -Psalm 18:25
Character determines how a person interprets God's will. It's all a matter of perspective. It's all relative to the condition of our hearts. When difficult trials hit, we either approach them with faith, trusting that God has a plan or we approach them with a fist, angry that yet another difficulty has gotten in our way. No doubt, our kids model the way we handle difficulty.
Someone said that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens to us. It's all a matter of perspective. It's all relative to the condition of our hearts. Like most emergencies, once the crisis hits, it's too late to begin preparation. When the trials come, a quick quiet time won't usually settle the issue. It's the investment we've made in Jesus (or the investment He's made in us) that makes all the difference.
Mark and Elizabeth live in Des Moines, Iowa. It's a beautiful city and they are still getting to know their way around town. When they first moved there, Elizabeth was trying out a neighborhood Hy Vee grocery store expecting to buy all the groceries on her list. She searched the store only to find mostly pharmacy items. Unknowingly, Mark went to that same store a few hours later expecting to buy pharmacy items. He noticed what Elizabeth did not- that it was a Hy Vee Pharmacy store. He was excited to find some groceries there too. The difference? Expectation. Elizabeth had expected to buy all her groceries and was disappointed. Mark just expected to buy shaving cream but was excited to find milk and bananas too.
In First Peter 4:12-13, Peter said, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation."
Are we supposed to get excited when bad things happen? No. But we're to expect trials and challenges to come our way. They are God's way of breaking, molding, building and using us. God calls us to trust Him.
While we were in Des Moines a few weeks ago, we visited the capital building and I, being a history nut, was inspecting the monuments around the capital yard. The inscription on the civil war monument read, "To the brave men of Iowa who gave their lives in the War of the Rebellion." The Civil War monument in Vicksburg, Mississippi reads, "To the brave men of Mississippi who gave their lives in the War of Northern Aggression." Which one is correct? It's all a matter of perspective. It's all relative to the heart of the person. The teenager cries out, "My parents are too aggressive!" The parents cry out, "My teenager is too rebellious!" It's all a matter of perspective. It's all relative to the condition of our heart.
Our perspective needs to be from the viewpoint of our loving God. David asked God to "create in me a clean heart"
(Psalm 51:10). A clean heart allows us to view trials from the right perspective. If the difficulties and trials we encounter occur in the relative context of a clean and pure heart, then we can trust that "all things do work together for the good"
because we "love Jesus and are called according to his purpose"
Approach trials with faith and not with a fist. Let God have His way. It's all a matter of perspective. It's all relative to the condition of our heart.
Whether you pick up groceries at Hy Vee or not.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©
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