Yesterday we said that John gives us a sign by which we can test ourselves to know if we truly have a saving relationship with Jesus. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” (1 Jn 2:3-5)
Godly wisdom that God promises us if we ask for it (James 1:5) will change our perspective from our sinful, narcissistic human perspective to God’s perspective. To have God’s perspective on the difficult things in our lives is to see those things through the lens of God’s design, purpose and way. God never promises life will be easy, but His Word says He works everything to good for those who love him (Rom 8:28).
And while He works out everything for our good, He will use circumstances to change us to be Christ-like. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Rom 5:3-5)
If we saw every negative situation in our lives as a means for God to work good in us, maybe we wouldn’t focus so much on manipulating our circumstances to feel better. Maybe, instead, we would begin to see our issues, trials and struggles as opportunities for God to do something transformational in our lives. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:6-7).
Where do you turn in times of trouble? Do you seek out what the world has for you, or do you seek the Lord while He may be found (Is 55:6)? Here’s where the rubber meets the road: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 Jn 2:15-17)
As God changes our perspective, we begin to see less of what is wrong and more evidence of God’s refining work in our life. The Lord brings our weaknesses to the surface so that we understand that in order to be strong, we must submit to Him and become more dependent servants of the Refiner, Who desires to give us life everlasting with Him. In the heat, we see His power displayed and we become vessels for His glory and reflectors of His image to the world — and that is a life worth living, no matter your circumstances!