I find television shows that show life from different points of view fascinating. One show I’ve really found riveting is called The Affair. This might surprise you, maybe even shock you that I’d admit to watching a show where the central theme is about two people who have an affair and all the consequences of that choice, but let’s be real, most of us don’t spend 100% of our time watching Hallmark movies.
Just to be clear, I’m in no way saying that any of their behavior is ok. The two main characters, along with almost every supporting character in the show, sins in ways that cause irreparable damage to their lives, the lives of their families, friends and community. This show is definitely not wholesome entertainment, but what fascinates me about shows like this is the way that they are told. Within each episode of The Affair, the same story is told from different characters perspectives. I find it interesting to see how two people can go through the same experience, but their retelling of it from their perspective can be completely different. Isn’t this true in real life? Have you ever heard someone tell a story about a situation you were a part of, but the details or way they remember it is different that what you remember?
How we experience life is all about our perspective. How does that old saying go?
What we can control is our outlook on life. You can control how you react. Feelings like anger, fear, worry, anxiousness, stress, sadness, loneliness and disappointment are all natural. God knew we would have them, which is why so many passages in the Bible address them. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Having the feelings isn’t the problem. The problem is how we react to them.
For example in Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul tells us when we are angry, we should not sin, because if we do we give the devil a foothold. So when we’re angry, we should try to breathe. We should try to calm ourselves down before saying or doing something that we might regret. Not only for the sake of the other person, but also for ourselves. Why let them steal your joy? It’s not worth it.
But I don’t want to waste your time telling you something you already know or that you’ve read before. What I do want to do is encourage you in an area of your life where your perspective is key to choosing joy.
Because isn’t that why we want to maintain a positive perspective? So that we can be happy and enjoy life?
Personally, I’ve found that I’m actually pretty good, not perfect….just pretty good, at maintaining perspective in most situations. I’m pretty good at understanding things from another person’s point-of-view. I’m pretty good at not freaking out. I absolutely have my moments, which my husband can attest to, where my emotions totally take over. But I’ve learned how to retake control and maintain a positive outlook on life through trying to align my thoughts with God’s perspective.
Do you struggle to maintain perspective when you’re disappointed in God’s answer to your prayers? His ways are not our ways, so trying to understand why He answers the way He does can be really hard. There are times when I want His answer to be “yes” and it ends up being “no”. Times when I want something so badly right now, but I can feel Him saying “Jamila just wait.”
If you struggle with this the way that I do, I want to share the lesson I’ve learned that has helped me maintain a positive perspective no matter what. I hope it will help you too.
That’s it right there. It’s simple and yet it’s profound. If His answer is yes, wait or no, trust that it is the right answer; the one that is best for you in the long run and the outcome that will ultimately glorify Him. Live to bring Him glory and you’ll never be disappointed for long. Any disappointment when things don’t turn out in your favor will quickly pass because you realize things turned out in His favor.
My infertility has been the biggest lesson for me in this. I now understand that His “no” was for His Glory, because it lead me to start loved+blessed. But thinking back over my life, His “no” to where I really wanted to go to college ended up being the right answer because it lead to so many other things that never would have happened if I didn’t end up there. His “no” to those guys I dated that I just knew at the time were the one, ended up being a blessing in disguise, because they lead me to the right one, my husband, and a closer relationship with THE ONE, Jesus. In all those situations, I didn’t understand His perspective at the time. But if I had it all to do over again, I would save myself the seasons of disappointment by choosing to fall to my knees and ask God to help me see things through His eyes, instead of begging Him to let me have what I thought I wanted.
So if you’re in a place where you’ve lost perspective. Where everything seems to be going wrong and life has got you down, I want to encourage you. If you can’t see it yet, keep living, keep seeking His guidance in your situation and you’ll see it. When the timing is right, He’ll comfort you and remind you that this is all a part of His bigger plan and that that plan is for your joy and His glory.
Do you struggle when God’s answer to your prayer isn’t what you hoped it would be? Comment below, I’d love to hear your perspective.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.