Point of View

View from Wiseman's View of Linville Gorge Valley

View from Wiseman’s View of Linville Gorge Valley

Same section of Linville Gorge from Table Rock

Same section of Linville Gorge from Table Rock

“It’s all in how you look at it.”

Life is one of those things that can bring you down or lift you up depending on how you look at it.  When we face certain situations we choose our outcome and how we feel based on how we view our circumstances.

Take for example a bad day…we all have them…and we all have a choice in how we approach them.

This is where our point of view can dictate how we handle the ups and downs.  Do we view our mistakes as a stepping stone? Or do we view our mistakes as a deal breaker? Think about athletes for a moment – when a quarterback throws an interception, how does that dictate the rest of his performance?  Does he throw a couple more because he can’t get over the first, or does he learn from the mistake he made and go on to recover to lead his team to victory?

When you make a mistake in your marriage, do you view the marriage as over because of one minor let down? Or do you learn from the circumstance and work with your spouse to fix the problem and move on the way that the Lord would have you to do?

We all make mistakes, we all have problems to get over, we all need to check our perspective and see what the Lord would have us to do.  Paul had every chance in the world to give up on his ministry when he was in prison, but Paul viewed the opportunity as a chance to share what God could do through the life of someone who was called to do the Lord’s work.  Paul didn’t give in as the world would have liked; Paul overcame the adversity to lead others to the same Savior he had come to know.

Jesus shared the same message with his disciples…Don’t view your problems as problems, but as opportunities to show just how great God is in your life.  You never know what the reason may be for a situation that arises, but you do know that you have a great God who is in control leading your path, and offering guidance and comfort.  How are you going to view it?  Give God the Glory…

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”– Romans 8:18-21, 38-39 (NIV)

See it how Paul saw it…every problem = greater opportunity. Today your bad day may be just what God needs to show someone, maybe even you, how great He is.

What’s Your Story?

What a difference a year or two can make in a life.

There are many chapters in our story that can be written over a year’s time. Many things can happen in our lives that can change our plans for the future, things that can redirect our path and send us in a new direction, and many things that can make us stop and reevaluate our purpose. For some, their story may have ended.

What we have to do is realize that our life is a story that is being written day-by-day. The question, who is the author?

There are many of us who call ourselves Christians that are attempting to write our own story while we push aside values and morals to attempt to accomplish our own tasks and plans. As Christians, we should step back and allow our story to be penned by another, by the one who gave us life and has a plan for us that will prosper us and give us a hope and a future. Our plans will only lead us to failure if we do not align then to the plans of God.

As I look back over the past couple years in my life, I see that my plans were put on hold, or at least the plans I assumed were made for me as things seemed to turn upside-down. It was three years ago that a story ended and a new chapter began in my story, or at least what I thought was my story.

When dad passed it was a crushing blow to the story of my life, but dad had reached his final chapter. His, a story of love, a story that was written by God as dad made it his purpose to serve the Lord with his life; it was a story that we can all look at and know the same reward.

The story I am speaking of is the one we see in scripture. The story of Christ, the cross, and salvation. A story that has a hero, Christ, who fights his nemesis, the Devil, and struggles through many battles to overcome death and the grave on his way to saving the world.

This can be our story if we just realize that God has written the same story for us all.

Open the Word and read your story today. It is an all-time best seller, a love story, an action packed thriller, and a story of redemption.

What is your story? Do you know your story? Do you know how it will end? You can, if you will put your trust in the Lord and in His Word.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16, 17 NKJV)

True Happiness

I am sure that each of you reading this has thought about what amount of money will bring you true happiness.  What is that amount?  Would a raise at your job make you happy? Or, would it be more along the lines of winning the lottery?

It is a common misconception that you can find contentment in money and material things.  The truth is, no true happiness came from someone coming into wealth, just look around you and see.

You see movie stars and musicians everyday who have come into wealth and seemed to have everything that we dream of when we thing of worldly desires and material possessions, but yet they seem to be missing everything when it comes to happiness because they do not know where to find happiness in their own lives.

Matthew 6:24 states, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Jesus, in his sermon to his disciples, addresses the issues that we all seem to face today.  You may not think that your pursuit of monitary happiness is taking the place of God in your life, but look at what it causes you to do.  Our pursuit of money can cause us to become a slave to it…it may start with missing church for that extra day of work so that we can get ahead on the bills.  It may be that we become so wrapped up in making the money, working the overtime, pushing ourselves to the limit so much that we forget our families or do not spend time in prayer or reading the scripture.

Whatever it may be that we are struggling with today, I want to encourage you to take the time to slow down and look where your priorities are.  Take the time today to find yourself in the scripture and in prayer about where you should prioritize your life.

God will show you what He wants for your life, but you have to get the “trash” out of the way so that you can hear Him.  Maybe it will start by you not spending that extra hour at work, regardless of the pay.  Maybe it starts with a family meal that begins with prayer to God for His blessings.  Or, maybe, just maybe, it will start with you opening the Word of God and reading for yourself about God’s blessings for you.

Whichever it is, even if it may be all three, take the time today to really focus on finding true happiness today!  God is our only way to happiness, and He will never let us down.