How To Gain Perspective On Life When You’re Bummed Out, Part 1

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How do you know if you have the RIGHT PERSPECTIVE about your life on any given day?

I love tumblr.com where I came across this cute cartoon with a profound message about perspective.

If you’ve lived very long you’ve probably faced something that knocked the wind out of you.

An injustice, a betrayal, an event that made you question God’s fairness or even His love for you.

Where do you go to find an answer to questions like that?

I go to the Book God wrote.  

 

I remembered three people in the Bible who struggled with questions and were basically bummed out by life events.

The thing is, all three knew God.   That makes me feel so much better.
Just knowing that I’m not the only person who knows God, but still has questions gives me a weird sort of comfort.

And I’m glad God included them and the LIFE LESSONS from their stories in HIs best-seller.

First up is a guy named Asaph.
He wrote Psalm 73 which I have re-titled ‘Whoa, I Almost Slipped’.

You’ve heard the saying, ‘Comparison is a Thief’.
That could have originated with this Psalm.

When we first meet Asaph, he’s asking questions.

Hard questions, like why do bad people have nothing but good luck?  (Psalm 73:5)
And, what’s the use in being a godly person if we still have problems and grief? (73:14)

We ask those same things today.
 Asaph took his plight to church.

He went in to the sanctuary to talk to God about this seemingly unfair situation.
That’s where he gained PERSPECTIVE.

When he talked to God he realized his focus had been on the here and now.
Short term not eternal.
Micro not macro.

So that’s the very first Life Lesson:  Look at your day, and your life, throughout the LONG LENS of eternity.

Not easy, huh?  We’re pretty well grounded in the here and now.  We all have expectations and lots of presumptions.  Things like, living a long healthy life, or having kids who grow up and make us proud.  How about this one?  If you work hard you’ll be promoted.   Or, if you’re a good spouse you’ll have a happy marriage.

Those are all things we care about—deeply!
They can affect, even determine our happiness in life if we let them.  But they don’t have any influence at all on our eternity.  They’re tied to this life, this earth.   God spends a lot of time trying to wean us from our dependence on those things for our happiness.
He’d rather we discover what it’s like to be content in Him.

Asaph realizes he was thinking like an animal.
Okay, that’s unflattering.
Let’s avoid that at all costs.
We are spiritually alive in Christ.

That means we live life from a spiritual perspective.
When we forget that we can become frustrated, bitter, and miserable.
Here’s how Asaph how describes his own experience. 

 

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.
Psalm 73:21-26

 

God is on a constant mission to untether our hearts from this world and to entwine them with His own.

He wants us all to get to the REALITY of Psalm 73:25.
. . .and I desire nothing on earth but You.

 

It’s the longing for the stuff of this world that drags us down.
Even the good stuff.

It makes us unhappy, unsatisfied, and unholy.
Asaph decided he wanted God as his portion.  (73:26)

We’ll never be fully satisfied in this life until we’re satisfied with GOD.

Here’s the question we need to answer when we’re struggling, what am I desiring more than God?
He’s trying to lead us to a glorious destiny.
That’s a life-changing perspective.

Tomorrow Part 2:  Lessons from Elijah, or What we learn from a prophet who’s being a drama queen!

12 Comments on “How To Gain Perspective On Life When You’re Bummed Out, Part 1

  1. Hi Grace! I found this article to be enlightening, delightful, and cute. I love your writing style and your blog is nice too! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. Enjoy your day 🙂

    • Thanks Jeanie.
      I appreciate your encouragement 😉
      My first name is Kelly. Like it’s not confusing enough to have two first names, I also have two last names!!! And then add Grace Kelly to the mix and it’s a wonder I can keep it straight!!!

  2. This piece relates to so much I’m processing. Years ago I asked God to teach me joy. He is. But I didn’t expect 7 years of deep hardship. I think I understood, even then at some level, that my dependence had to be placed more fully on Him for it ALL. That was the only way to enduring joy that isn’t shaken by the winds of every day life. Thank you for this piece, and for your comment on my blog. I really enjoyed Jeff’s article.

    • You’re in good company Paula!
      Joseph didn’t expect to be sold by his brothers, or thrown in prison on a false accusation. Job never imagined he’d lose almost everything precious to him in the space of a few hours. But, they came through on the other side with a deeper knowledge and experience of God.
      It sounds like you’ve learned that joy is a response. When we don’t have joy we’ve ‘temporarily’ shifted focus from God to something else. I believe the lessons of suffering are to teach us to keep our eyes on the Lord.
      God’s been working in your life crafting a story of triumph over challenges.
      Keep sharing, we need that message over and over in this crazy world 😉

  3. Hi Kelly
    Thanks for shedding light on Asaph…..I can’t wait till you share another character.
    Our focus needs to be on God and nothing else. He should be our consuming passion. He has to be the one we need above anything else…..Great post.
    Rolain

    • 🙂 I can’t imagine what a stranger who found my Bible would think of some of my ‘personalized’ titles!!!

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