Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Maintaining a Proper Perspective



  Did you know a single cup of coffee contains enough moisture

to blanket your entire neighborhood with fog fifty feet thick?


  It’s amazing how such a small amount of water--spread out so

thinly--can hinder our vision almost completely.


  We tend to get upset when fog hinders our pilgrimage, but

we forget the sun is still shining overhead, burning it away.

Why do we get upset? Because we fail to maintain a proper



  British statesman William Wilberforce once commented,

“The objects of the present life fill the human eye with a false

magnification because of their immediacy.” Problems and

concerns often act like fog to obscure our present situation.

They keep us from seeing things in proper perspective.


  Psychologists tell us that forty-five percent of what we

worry about is past, and forty-five percent is future.

(Thirty percent concerns our health alone!) Only one in

every ten things we worry about will ever come to pass – and

we usually cannot do anything about it anyway.


  No wonder Jesus Christ tells us, “Do not worry about

tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34)

The Bible also says, “Do not be anxious about anything.”

(Philippians 4:6) We worry whenever we fail to maintain

a true perspective of our circumstances.


  Sometimes we treat problems and trials as if we were on

a television commercial. We rush around thinking we have to

solve everything in thirty seconds. When we can’t, we panic.


  We try every option we can think of to overcome our problems

and difficulties. When none of them works, we reluctantly

turn to God as a last resort.


But there are no emergencies in heaven. God is aware of

our problems. (Exodus 3:7; 1 Peter 5:7) He did not create us

to be self-sufficient to meet our needs. He created us to

depend on Him.


A.W. Tozer wrote, “The man who comes to a right belief

about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for

he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at

the most cannot concern him for very long.”


  Do you face a difficult situation, my friend? Has your way

been covered by a heavy fog? God has not allowed this

situation to come into your life to discourage or defeat you.

Every trial you and I face is an opportunity for God to

demonstrate who He is to us -- the One we can always

depend upon, no matter what.


  King Hezekiah saw God demonstrate His care for him in a

dramatic way. Meditate on Isaiah 37 and record the steps that

King Hezekiah took when faced with a serious problem. Then

compare your list with mine below.


   1.         Hezekiah acknowledged that he had a problem (37:1).

   2.         He sought to know what God’s Word said

                about his problem (37:2-7).

   3.         He didn’t allow anything to distort his

                perspective (37:8-13).

   4.         He prayed to God -- first worshiping Him,

                then presenting his request, and finally asking

                that God would be glorified (37:14-20).


  Use these same steps when you face a difficulty or trial.

Remember, it is in the hard places that we get to know

Him better.


To Ponder


  Do you tend to have a problem with worry?


  What have you been worried about lately? Health?  Work?

Finances? Marriage? Family?  Church?  National issues?


To Pursue


  Review Isaiah 37:1-20, making brief notes in the margin

of your Bible about how King Hezekiah responded during

a time of crisis. Use those same steps to address areas of

personal concern.

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