How can some people have hope and faith as they endure unimaginable fiery trials, while others crumble from things that are far less fiery?
The simple, yet complicated answer is PERSPECTIVE. It is how they perceive their situation and circumstances. Perspective is affected by our life experiences.
My dad HATES hominy. All my life I have heard about how terrible the white, corn type vegetable is. Even when asking my father what he would like to eat, his response is “I’ll eat anything but hominy.” He physically gags then he thinks of it. He has a definite and strong perspective toward hominy that will probably never change.
PERSPECTIVE CAN BECOME A LEGACY
My dad obviously has a negative perspective when it comes to hominy. Because of his obvious distaste, I have accepted that hominy is bad. I am 45 years old and cringe when I see the can sitting on the shelf at the grocery store. I’ve never tasted it, yet I carry the same perspective as my father. If my dad says it is yucky then I have no desire to try it for myself.
While my dad’s perspective was earned from a personal experience, mine is a legacy passed down from his experience. It is an odd legacy, but a legacy none the less.
PERSPECTIVE IS POWERFUL
In the hominy example above, you see how your perspective in an area can influence other people. That is why it is important to make sure your perspective is a good one. (I think this could be playing a role in the current cultural unrest in our nation–but that is for a different day)
The thing about perspective, is that it is often short sighted. This shortsightedness limits our our reactions, willingness to be open to new things, and even our faith.
EARTHLY PERSPECTIVE OR ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE?
We have a perfect example of the power of perspective when Jesus is sharing with His closest friends the fiery trial He is about to endure.
“From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
Let paint this in modern terms. A friend and business partner you love dearly comes to you and says, “There is going to be an angry mob show up. They will take me, beat me, shame me, and then murder me in front of the entire community. I’m telling you this because I love you and don’t want you to be surprised when this happens.”
How would you respond? If you loved them, you would naturally begin to devise a plan to keep them safe. Not only is your your friend at risk with this news, but also all the plans you had for the business. Your entire future is impacted if these terrible things happen to your friend.
I completely get where Peter was coming from when he said, “Heaven forbid! This will never happen to you!”
Surely God Himself will make a way out of this! Even Heaven doesn’t want this to happen! (BUT HEAVEN’S PLAN WAS FOR THIS TO HAPPEN!)
Peter’s perspective was shortsighted. Jesus recognized that when He replied,
Peter’s perspective could have been contagious. Jesus himself understood this perspective as a trap that would interfere with what God’s plan and purpose was for His upcoming fiery experience. I am so glad Jesus was able to recognize it, and keep His heavenly perspective.
WHERE IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
I encourage you to do a “perspective check”.
When we have a heavenly perspective as we live in our own personal fiery trials, we walk in a different way. Faith grows during the fires when we draw near and cling to God. He may not rescue us, but He definitely will not abandon us to be consumed by the fire either.
If our eyes are only on the circumstances, the fire will lead to despair. If our eyes stay on Jesus it will be painful, but becomes a path full of hope.
OTHERS ARE WATCHING
Just like my father influenced my perspective on hominy, our perspective during our fires influence others. They are watching. If we are consumed by our fire, they have no hope when the enter a similar fire.
I’m not suggesting a “fake it” so others see you a holy. I’m saying that God truly is with you during the fires, and pressing in to Him will help you walk the path with hope. Others will see your authentic hope and know it is possible during their own fire walks.
THE LEGACY OF PERSPECTIVE
It is true that those outside of our home will have their faith encouraged as they watch us walk though fires with a Godly perspective. The most important audience though, is inside your four walls.
My daughter turned to my one day and said, “Mom, you are a bright side thinker–and I like it!” They are watching and learning. They undoubtedly will walk their own fiery paths. I do not hide my fires from them. They need to see it modeled, so they can do it themselves when the fires of life threaten to consume their hope.
Perspective matters, and if we keep an earthly or natural point of view, it will become a trap that wounds our faith. Only Jesus can help us learn to live life choosing the Heavenly perspective.
This is day 3 of the #write31days challenge where I will be writing a new post each day about having ‘FAITH in the FIRE’. If you don’t want to miss out on any of this series, click here and join my email mailing list. The posts will be delivered into your in-box.
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