Faithlife Sermons

Perspective Shift

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Intro

Opening

There are some verses in the Bible that have become so popular. They’re verses that we put on cup, walls, t-shirts even bumperstickers and pot holders. We do this so that we can be encouraged by them, so that we can remember them. So we can share them with our friends.
But this does not mean that these are easy to place into action in our life. One of these that is quoted often with the best intentions is
> Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
It sounds so easy in theory. So easy in fact that we will often tell others this when they’re going through tough times. But this can be so much harder. Harder yet when you have the wrong perspective.

Perspective

Perspective is how you view something, someone or a situation. You can have a change in perspective by moving and looking from another direction. This takes work and is not simple adding more information. But physically or mentally shifting your position on many things to impact your perspective on one thing.
I believe that one of the largest hurdles for people in simply trusting God in all things is a perspective problem. It’s so much more than just simply remembering a verse. It’s allowing God, through His Word and the circumstances of life, to shift your perspective. Not just your perspective on one small event, moment or problem in your life, but on your whole life. Once you see something one way it becomes very difficult to unsee.

Job

As the book of Job opens it opens with a man that seems to have everything, seems to do all things right.
> There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. -
He had everything and did everything right. He fears God, he turned from evil.
> And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. -
He even offered sacrifices just in case. But then in the span of two chapters everything gets stripped away. (VS 13-19) Everything he has worked for, everything he has known just gets stripped away with no answers in sight. In a moment his life will never be the same. His possessions, his family. Then in chapter 2 His health and even his wife tells him “Just curse God and die” His life is shattered.
But then he does something interesting in the next verse. In verse 20 It says that he Worshipped. He also says that “the Lord gives and has taken away” You think problem solved he’s got it. He’s trusting God end of story. Most people that have read the book of Job may wish that was the end when it comes to reading through it. Instead of ending, a few more things happen in chapter two that we mentioned. His health and his wife. Then his friends show up.
Over roughly the next 33 chapters they deliberate back and forth over what happened and why. They want answers as to why this happened to their friend Job. Is it sin? Wrong doing? Not sacrificing? His thought life? Obviously it must be something.
We could dive really deep here, but not today.
So you come to Chapter 38. This is where God comes in. He goes on to ask Job “Where were you when I created everything? Do you know how the world works? Do you know about all these creatures that I have created? Do you have the power to aim them?” He just bombards Job with all these questions. Not answers. God was not looking to answer jobs questions and accusations about what happened to him. He was looking to change Jobs perspective. Mentally shifting Jobs view of everything in the world.
As we face times in our life, or as we (like Jobs friends) are around others that are in a place where things don’t make sense and we need, not more information to help us fix our suffering and solve our current predicament, but a perspective shift that allows us to see our problems differently. Not change them, but see them differently.

Shift Your Perspective from Holding Life Tighter to Holding Life With an Open Hand

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in everything we have. The way our life is or the way we thing it will be. Our plans. And as our life feels like its falling apart we want to hold all of these things tighter. Striving not to lose another. The problem with all of these things is they are us-centered. My stuff; my life; my choice; my plans; my relationship; my family; my church; my… You fill in the blank.
God says “Its all mine, I just let you use it” (stewardship)
> For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. -

1. Open hands lead to freedom.

Freedom exists as open hands release people, plans and expectations. Disappointment comes when we hold too tightly to any of these. Open hands are not capable of holding on to anything — including past hurts. To live a life of surrender, we must make amends with our past. We find freedom when we forgive others. We must bear with one another and forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven us ().

2. Open hands lead to trust in God.

Trust in God thrives as open hands receive hHis plans, His path, His purpose. As we surrender people, plans and expectations, we remember that every good act and gift comes from above (). We can trust that God is always taking the events of our life and working them out for our good and for his glory as we let him (). God’s story for us is usually not the same one that we would have written if we were the authors. If we were in charge we would probably have an easy life with little to know heart, heartbreak or suffering of any kind. But if that was our life, we would have no need for God. We would be self dependent.
>It is often when you come to the end of yourself that you truly find what God has to offer. We don’t find it in the beginning because we are so preoccupied relying on ourselves.

3. Open hands lead to worship.

Worship is enhanced as open hands praise unhindered. Once we have embraced freedom and trust as our new companions on this journey, our worship is intensified.
>Our white-knuckle grip of control is often the very thing that stifles our worship of the king. God asks for our absolute surrender.
Living life with open hands is hard. As God stripped away from Job all these things. It was not easy for Job. But God promises to do more than we can ask or think. If you let Him. He promises to work all things out for our good and His glory. If we let Him. If we let Him. Open Hands is always a choice.

Shift Your Perspective from a Microwave to a Crockpot (Growth Takes Time)

At the end of the book of Job everything is restored. It’s actually restored double. However, this took time. Just think about how long it would take to have 10 kids. We’re looking not at a year or even 5 years. More like a decade. Job did not just miraculously get everything back over night and have healing from everything that happened. It took time. It took patience. But through that time was growth. Growth does not happen over night. It takes time. So as you are waiting, as you are healing, as you are learning and growing, be patient. Growth and healing take time.

Shift Your Perspective from Gods Perspective to My Perspective

The biggest of all of these is this. There is Gods perspective and my perspective. The 33 chapters of Job and his friends going round and round trying to understand the why. All for God to come in and not answer the question but ask more questions. All to in turn show them that there is a human perspective and a God perceptive. It is not our Job to have Gods perspective. It is our job to trust God. We as humans cannot have Gods perspective. Thats why he asked Job all of those questions. To show him, that he cannot understand why God does what he does. But He does it because He is God.
Understanding the why is such a difficult task because, when someone understands the why they grasping the entire spectrum of the story and the process of beginning and the end. When you fully understand this, along with the what is happening and how it is happening you can then begin to discover the why.
It is very difficult for someone as finite and someone with a small point of view on the world to know full spectrum of the story and definitely not the end. So what's the point?
The point is not to understand the why of God's plan. But to understand He is God and I am me. Its not my job to be Him and see how He sees or understand what He understands. Understanding and seeing that God is God and I am not. That is worship. Then living your life with that perspective everyday. Then from that perspective on life you trust Him. That is living the Christian Life. Not understanding the why.
Job never got to know why. All he got to know was in the end, God knew exactly what he was doing.

Conclusion

As we go through life, as we live life with others. We can look at verses like and we can try and live them. We can raddel them off for others going through a time where things don’t make sense. But sometimes information alone is not enough. We may need a perspective shift. Going from God change my circumstances to God change me. The shift in your perspective does not change what is happening, it simply changes how you see it.
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