The first post I ever wrote for my blog was one on perspective. In fact, I titled it Perspective is Everything. Fast forward a year and a half later, and I still believe that perspective is everything. And I’m still trying to achieve some semblance of it in the everyday.
Within the last month, I have watched one friend undergo a double mastectomy, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends get diagnosed with breast cancer, another mom of one of my daughter’s friends reach remission in her journey with cancer, a mom of one of my husband’s students be diagnosed with cancer that is everywhere, and a friend’s husband younger than me suffer a heart attack over the weekend.
While I have not set out to discuss suffering and the role God means for it to play in our lives, the simple fact is that when we are searching for an abundant life on this earth we are always doing so in the midst of some sort of suffering. Randy Alcorn once said that while God is preparing a place for us in heaven, what we often don’t realize is that He is preparing us for that place. Maybe the life to come wouldn’t seem as precious a promise without the struggles we face here. Without suffering and hardship in this life, we would never experience His grace. Perspective is indeed everything.
Last week I talked about a right view of God as being one of the most important steps in walking toward the abundant life. Without it, our perspective on everything else is warped and lacking. Without a right view of God, our understanding of His love for us holds no weight in our living. But that’s only the beginning. With a right view of God we begin to adjust our view of abundance to fall in line more with what God had in mind.
Our right view of God comes first and foremost from His letter to us. I could go on and on with what I think abundant life is and what it should look like in the life of a Christian, but I won’t. Instead I’ll follow in the footsteps of what was said on Sunday and let Scripture do what it does best: soothe the soul parched from life’s fiery trials.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 NIV
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial; because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 NIV
“But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 NIV
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
What is conspicuously missing in these verses is the worldly perspective on abundance which includes material wealth, occupational success, marital bliss and successful kids. Instead the abundant life is one of spiritual dimension, including but certainly not limited to:
- Inward renewal
- Future glory
- A crown of life
- A conqueror
- Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ
At the end of the day is God enough? Is Who He is and all He encompasses enough if nothing in our lives ever changes or ever improves? It’s really about perspective.