As a Christian how should we tackle difficult and discouraging situations? This is something my husband David and I have thought a lot about in the last few years. We think it is important to have the right perspective when looking at the big picture by focusing on God’s greatness and purposes without losing sight of the little picture by taking each day as it comes. In this post we talk about the bigger picture, part-two released next week will examine the little picture.
The Bigger Picture:
We think one of the keys when going through tough times is to meditate on who God is. He is the Almighty God and as it says in Deuteronomy 10:17: ‘for the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome…’His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and although we make plans, it is God’s purposes that win out (Proverbs 19:21).
David has found the image of a screaming baby helpful when he is struggling to have perspective on a situation. From the baby’s perspective the hunger, fatigue or full nappy makes it feel like the world is coming to an end. However the parent knows just what needs doing and they are not caught off guard by the situation. In a similar way our situation may be big and discouraging, but for God our trials are not difficult to turn around nor is he surprised by them. He knows every thought and action before they happen (Psalm 139:2-4) and nothing is impossible for God (Matthew 19:26).
We also need to frame our present life in the context of eternity with God which we have as believer (John 3:16). Colossians 3:2 tells us to: ‘set your minds on things above, not on earthly thing.’ In other words seeking first his Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). God tests our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:4) meaning that he is more concerned about our character and how we love others than our possessions, status or financial standing. There will come a day when he will wipe every tear away and all things will be restored (Revelation 21:4). For a little while we live in a broken and painful world, but we have all of eternity before us. Our task is to run the race set before us with endurance (Hebrews 12:1).
So in short, when facing difficulties keep your eyes on Almighty God, he created and sustains the earth (Colossians 1:16-17) and so he has a completely different perspective on our present difficulties than we do. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and wants you to seek his approval not that of others (Galatians 1:10).
This piece has been co-written with my husband David. He was my full time carer for several years and has faced his own health difficulties including depression and burn out.