Have you ever gone outside and just laid in the grass and looked up at the clouds? This was one of my favorite things to do with my mom when I was growing up. We would go outside and just look at the cloud and tell each other what shapes or images we saw in the clouds. Very rarely did we ever see the same things. I would see something like Batman, but she would see something very different. Even though we were looking at the same cloud we both had very different perspectives. I think many times in our lives our perspective on a situation can actually have a greater impact than the situation itself.
Have you ever been asked the question is the glass half full or half empty? How you answer that question all depends on your perspective. There are often going to be things in our life that are difficult or that we do not understand, but attitude or perspective can make a positive difference. If you have the right perspective, you can experience God’s presence, power, promises and peace.
Somebody who often had to put things in the right perspective in the scriptures is Paul. Some of Paul’s most well-known and encouraging scriptures are from the letter to the Philippians. What people sometimes do not realize is that when Paul writes that very positive letter, he is locked in prison sitting in sewage.
In Philippians 4:9, Paul said to learn from him, to put into practice the right perspective of faith in God no matter what your situation.
(Phil 4:9 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.)
When our perspective is focused on who God is, it allows us to see problems as possibilities. From Paul we learn that we must “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Problems are normal. The key to dealing with our problems is perspective or, as some would say, attitude.
When the Israelite soldiers saw Goliath, they thought, “He is so big we can never defeat him.” When David saw Goliath, he had a different attitude. In fact, he may have even thought, “He is so big I can’t miss him.”
At times I think we view our problems as weaknesses or brokenness, but I actually think those times of brokenness are times when God’s light can shine through the cracks, and we can fully feel his presence and power in our lives. The brokenness shows us that there’s nothing that Jesus and us cannot handle together.
There are many things in our lives that we cannot control, but one thing we can always control is our attitude. It is more important than what happened yesterday—more important than my successes, my failures, my pain; more important than what people think about me or my situation. Attitude is the thing that can keep us going or make us quit. Attitude can fuel our fire or destroy our hope. When our perspective is focused on who God is, no mountain is too high, no valley too deep and no challenge too great that we can’t face it with the Lord’s strength.
Let the promises of God speak to your heart.
I pray that God will give us a clear perspective, a right perspective, a proper perspective.
- What do you see in the clouds… What shapes your perspective? How can you allow God to shape your perspective?
- How do you think Paul was able to keep such a positive attitude and perspective in such difficult situations?
Written by Josh DePree