It's All About Perspective

            In 2 Samuel 12:15-23 we can read of David’s grieving process as he is faced with the death of his son. The scriptures record, “And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David looked at this in perspective. He did what he thought was best and then when he felt there was nothing left that he could do moved on.

            The word perspective is defined as; the relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole, or simply as point of view. We many times use two words to describe an individual’s point of view. The first is the word pessimist which means; to take the gloomiest possible view of a situation. The second word is optimist which means just the opposite; to take the best possible view of a situation, or expect a good outcome. It is however you choose to look at the situation that will make you a pessimist or an optimist. For some they like to worry and always think the worst. For others they try to find the good out of every situation they are in. There may even be times in life where we may be one on one day and the other the next. Sometimes it is just a matter of how we look at the situation.

             First of all it might help to know that sometimes bad things happen for good reasons. Look at the example we have in Acts 16:16-34. In these scriptures here Paul and Silas have cast out a demon for the glory of God and are put into prison. The lesson comes in their reaction to the situation. Instead of being upset or angry, they begin to sing and praise God. When you read on you see they are able to convert the Philippian jailer and his whole household.

            Another good example of this is what Paul wrote in Romans 5:6-11. Paul wrote, “ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” To Christ’s disciples this was terrible that their savior was put to death, because they did not realize this was God’s plan. We now know this was God’s plan and it was for our benefit that we might have salvation through Him.

            Secondly it is helpful to realize some things are not as they seem. In Luke 22:54-62 we can read of the account where Peter denies Christ three times. If this is the last we ever read about Peter we would think what a tragic ending. A man who walked for three years with the Messiah and saw all His great miracles, and when things got a little tough he backed out. However this was not the end for Peter, but really just the beginning. In1 Peter 4:12-19 Peter writes, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” We see here how strong Peter did become. Peter came to the understanding that suffering for Christ was for the glory of God. History goes on to record that Peter was crucified upside down for the cause of Christ.

            Finally it is good to know every situation is what you make of it. In Job 1:13-22 the scriptures record, “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.  While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Everything is taken from Job and Job worships the Lord. Then Satan attacks Job’s health and even his wife says to curse God and still Job does not sin. Job takes a terrible situation and tries his very best to have a positive outlook on it all. In the end we can read in Job 42:10-17 that job is rewarded for his faithfulness to God, and he is given far more than he ever had before.

             In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul sums it up best when he writes, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” We can either sit here in our struggles and think of how bad off I am, or we can get up and go on thinking of the blessings I do have and how I can use these to the glory of God.