How do you live a Christ-filled life in the midst of a chaos-filled world? How do you keep a joy-filled attitude and a hope-filled outlook when you can’t lift your eyes higher than the circumstances that surround you? What do you do when you feel like you are drowning but you don’t see any raft around you to help?

You may be in a season where life is calm, but you know that storms are coming. Or, you may be in a season where wave after wave of disappointment, failure, and discouragement hit constantly. Your family is experiencing brokenness, your heart is experiencing what it is like to be broken, your finances are in shambles, or your job seems hopeless and un-moving. I could list a hundred more situations, but it all boils down to this – your boat is falling apart and you desperately need a lifeboat that will get you out of this mess.

It is natural to ask Him to remove from you the situations that entangle you or to do a miracle in your life and immediately intervene to turn the whole thing right-side up . It is natural to look to Christ and beg for a change; a job-change, a heart-change, a bank account change. However, I believe that the change you need first isn’t a circumstance change.

You need a perspective change.

Now don’t get me wrong – God can do amazing things. He can heal the sickness, replenish the bank account, heal the wounds, restore relationships, and so much more. He loves to help His children, and He is definitely capable of all those miracles. However, when we feel overwhelmed and every situation feels hopeless, our perspective is in the wrong place.

Steve Backlund quotes often that any perspective that isn’t glistening with hope is a perspective that is rooted in a lie. Jesus spoke that in this world we would have trouble (John 16:33). Out of all the times I have heard this verse, most of them have focused on the fact that we will have trouble in this world – and therefore, Christianity isn’t easy or simple, but filled with trouble. However, there is more to this verse. Jesus doesn’t just declare that we will have problems here on earth, but he adds a note of encouragement and says:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Wait…did Jesus just say that we could have peace in the middle of all our circumstances? Why do I feel like I am drowning in the midst of all my troubles? Where is my peace? The real question – where is your perspective?

If our focus is on Jesus, if our foundations are His truths, if our mindset understands His promises, peace is available to us. Hope is available to us. Joy is available to us. Real, authentic joy. When our eyes are on the One who has overcome the world, the outcomes will not look like the world’s. When our trust is in the One who triumphed death and the grave, our problems will seem small and our results will be big.

Let’s look different than the world. Let’s bring truth, joy, hope, and peace to a hopeless, peace-less, joyless people that need to see the light of Jesus. And the first step is through our perception of our own circumstances. We can be encouraged because our God is present and active, and He will use your whole life, both the good and the bad, to bring the Kingdom to earth. He wastes nothing!

With Encouragement,