Faith from God’s Perspective
“If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!” (James 1:12, TPT)
Perspective is a key ingredient to faith. What I mean is, in order for your faith to remain strong, you will have to adjust your perspective.
Here’s an example: Imagine an ant strolling down the sidewalk. From his perspective, the road is long. But now picture yourself on the sidewalk observing the ant. From your perspective you can see the ant’s past, present, and future. It’s not hard at all to see where the ant came from, where he currently is, and where he is heading. You could even place a juicy piece of fruit a little ways down the sidewalk for the ant to find. He doesn’t yet know the fruit is ahead of him, but you do.
This is how things are from God’s perspective. He can see your past, present, and future— all at the same time. And He knows the things He has prepared for you that you cannot yet see. This is why faith is required on our part (trusting God and His Word regardless of what things look like at the moment).
“If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God!”
Perspective describes a person’s outlook, viewpoint, position, and stance. When you and I look into the Word of God and position ourselves to believe it from God’s point of view (and not our own natural viewpoint), suddenly things seem less ominous. Yet, this position of hope requires faith.
And isn’t that what the writer of Hebrews said?
“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1, TPT)
The ant can’t see what is waiting for him down the road, but he travels onward in faith. When we choose to believe (by faith) that God is good and has our best interest in mind, we too can travel forward around life’s difficulties and obstacles with assurance.
Faith helps us put a handle on what we can’t see.
The Amplified Bible says faith perceives as real fact what is not revealed to our senses (Hebrews 11:1). To perceive means to come to realize, understand, or aware of something. And yes, perceive is a close cousin to the word perception. One being the position of faith, the other being the realization (or reward) of faith. When the ant comes upon the piece of fruit, I imagine he sings “Hallelujah!” while you and I smile, having known all along it was waiting for him.
God smiles when we trust Him too.
So be encouraged today. Adjust your perspective. Despite what it may look like from your vantage point, I promise God has good things in wait for you.
For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed
By Debbie McDaniel, crosswalk.com
“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalms 61:2
For the times when you feel overwhelmed, there’s a Rock that is higher. Stable, sure, faithful, true…a place you can trust, a place you can rest.
We often long for a more simplified life, free of mess or clutter, and struggles. Yet most days we strive just to keep our heads above the demands of work, family responsibilities, and all that calls our name. It’s hard sometimes, feeling like we can never get it all done. Our minds are in a constant mode of “go” from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning.
This is life.
And God longs to be right there in the center of it all. In the mess. In the full days. In the craziness and times when we feel overwhelmed. Because the truth is, the reality that we can ever get everything done we feel like we need to do, is not even a reality for most of us. And that’s not where true success is found anyway. It’s found in spending time with Him.
Our Rock. Our stability. Our hope. Our peace.
Maybe today is the day to rise above. Maybe we’ve been stuck down too long. Maybe we’ve been drowning or fighting the “overwhelm.” All the struggles and stuff won’t ever go away, but they don’t have to defeat us.
He is the One who brings hope in the chaos, the clutter, and demands. Because most days don’t look like a Pinterest post or page fresh out of a magazine for Simple Living. Sometimes they’re messy and full, and we can hardly keep up. The to-do list doesn’t get done, again, and we might be feeling a few steps behind. Pressures cling. We feel hurried and stressed. Battling defeat and discouragement, wondering why we can’t just get it together.
Yet still, His Truth shines through.
For though there’s a lot that may be left undone at the end of every day, if we’re living close to the One who created the day and cares more about us than we could ever imagine, that’s where true life is found.
That’s where real peace is.
Resting there today.
Hope you are too.
The Daily Cure for a Heavy Heart –
Encouragement for Today
“This, then, is how you should pray … ” Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
Did you know Jesus has given us the perfect prayer to pray each day to help us get ahead of any offenses that may be coming our way?
In Matthew 6, we read about Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray, more commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. There’s so much He could teach us to include in our daily prayers, right? I mean, if I were tasked with the job of teaching others how to pray, I’m afraid I may have included all the wrong things and left out some really important things.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”
And then in the next two verses right after the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus adds: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
Here’s something I don’t want us to miss. If you are looking at the word count of this teaching as presented in the New International Version, the total teaching is 94 words. The importance of giving and receiving forgiveness makes up almost half of those words. Wow.
This grabs my attention and makes me want to lean in a little more to what Jesus asks us to pray about every day besides just requesting help and provision from God.
The Lord’s Prayer reminds us what the human heart needs every day — we need God, we need to be forgiven and we need to forgive. Which means forgiveness is supposed to be as much a part of our daily lives as eating and sleeping.
But I will readily admit, I’m not even sure I’ve ever done this weekly, much less daily. And maybe that’s the very reason I often have an unexplainable heavy feeling inside of me.
We live in a day and time when being offended almost seems to go hand in hand with being alive. Almost everyone is epically offended by something. Almost everyone has relationship troubles. And I would guess almost none of us are truly praying daily with confession and forgiveness like Jesus taught us.
I’ll be the first in line to raise my hand and admit this is me. I’m too easily offended. I’m too quick to get defensive. I’m too slow to turn to prayer. I’m very rarely confessing. And I’m too often not forgiving.
But I want to change this. I want to mature in this.
I know I won’t do this perfectly. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try it at all.
Just a few weeks ago, someone I’ve been trying to help completely blindsided me with a reaction that felt extremely out of character and honestly undeserved. I was hurt. All I wanted to do was pull back from helping and give way to a full unleashing of my hurt on her. I could feel bitterness rising up.
But instead of immediately reacting, I remembered how, earlier that morning, I had prayed the Lord’s Prayer and confessed several things to the Lord in which my own heart needed some work.
I’d pre-decided to forgive those who might do or say something that might hurt me or stir up my strong emotion that day.
Instead of letting my anger move me to cause more hurt and pain, I simply let my anger inform me that something needed to be settled between my friend and me. I asked her if she could come over to my house, and instead of us trying to figure it out or talk it out, maybe we could pray it through together.
I let Jesus in me talk to Jesus in her. As we prayed, the most unexplainable peace washed over us both. It didn’t necessarily solve the issue at hand. But it did prevent the chaos of adding in more hurt, more confusion and more opportunities for resentment.
Confession breaks the cycle of chaos inside of me.
Forgiveness breaks the cycle of chaos between us.
The Lord’s Prayer prepared my heart for something I didn’t even know was coming later that day.
The best time to forgive is before we are ever offended.
The next best time to forgive is right now.