The mid-winter trees sparkled with frozen beauty. The branches glistened from frozen fog and light snow.
But when I looked at the other side of the trees, the limbs appeared brown and barren since they weren’t in the direct wind and moisture.
One side looked crystallized in the morning sun; the other side looked dreary in mid-winter.
What made the difference?
Perspective. It all matters how you look at something.
How we perceive our life situation can change when we view it from a different angle.
We can look at our problems and feel discouraged and overwhelmed. Or we can look to Lord for strength, and see hope in the difficult situations.
When life gets confusing or unsettled, we need a better perspective on our situation. Advice from friends, family, or online resources may help, but there’s the possibility that we wouldn’t be drawn closer to God.
The best source to improve perspective is found in read God’s Word.
The Bible is a gift to us that can draw us closer to God. When I’m troubled with a burdened heart, I know time spent reading the Word improve my mindset and mood. My attention will shift from the problem to the Lord. When I respond to God’s nudge to seek Him in the Word, I draw closer to Him.
Unfortunately, if I don’t turn to God’s Word immediately, my heart wanders into self-pity or my mind considers other sources of guidance. Those sources are shallow; none draw me closer to God.
God’s Word prepares us for a better heart perspective.
Psalm 119 contains the hope of a better perspective through God’s Word.
When desiring a better perspective, remember to seek the Lord wholeheartedly.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. Psalm 119:2 NIV
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. Psalm 119:10 NIV
The heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity, the center of a person.
What we put into our heart comes out in our lives: in our thoughts, beliefs, speech and actions. All of those affect our perspective or worldview. As we grow in faith, God’s words are the primary filter for our heart, thoughts, and actions. “Heart” is mentioned fourteen times in Psalm 119 in terms of obedience to God’s words and seeking His ways.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NIV
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. Psalm 119: 30 NIV
Jesus taught on matters for a heart perspective.
Jesus said in Luke 6:45,
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
If we are bitter or cynical, our words will be sharp and cutting to those around us. If we are growing in the character of Christ, we will share kindness.
Jesus spoke of the treasures of the heart in Matthew 6:21:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The focus of our heart influences the path of our lives and our perspective.
Meditating on God’s Word leads to a better perspective.
Meditating requiring interaction with the scripture, chewing on its words and digesting the truth. God desires us to think deeply on his words. This is different than Eastern forms of meditation. Psalm 119 contains eight verses that point the reader to meditate on the Word, which is more intentional than merely reading it. Here is a sampling of those verses.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119: 15 NIV
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. Psalm 119:27
When I meditate and recall how God has worked, my heart is led to praise. Gratitude replaces grumbling. I recall the goodness of God and my perspective improves.
There are benefits of seeking and meditating on God’s Word for a better perspective. As we read Psalm 119, we learn of God’s instructions for obedience to the Bible. We also glean more of the promises of God and see His nature.
Seeking involves the diligent actions of study and application. I might know God’s statutes, but if I don’t turn apply the principles in my daily life, they are empty knowledge. My perspective won’t improve if the words of scripture do not transform my thinking and my heart. The Word leads me to rely on Him more, changing my heart and drawing me closer to Him.
Meditating on scripture helps restore hope to our perspective.
The Psalmist uses the phrase “preserve my life” eleven times in Psalm 119 as a benefit of pursuing the promises of scripture. “Preserve” implies to refresh and refresh. When I feel discouraged, spending time in God’s Word will restore hope.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Psalm 119:37 NIV
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Psalm 119:93 NIV
Another benefit of meditating on the Word is that it strengthens the heart, restoring hope and perspective. When I’ve faced deep sorrow of losing a loved one, reading the Bible has comforted me. I found peace. The Spirit of God works through the words of the Bible when we approach it with an open, responsive heart. The strengthening of heart allowed me to go forward, although in grief. The psalmist wrote,
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Psalm 119:28 NIV
We have to know the Word of God, treasure it, and let it permeate our hearts.
The words of scripture are life-giving and empowering to develop a better perspective in a negative world. Throughout Psalm 119, the Psalmist reveals how we can gain a better perspective through God’s word. Seeking the Lord and meditating on the Word will draw us closer to Him, regaining hope, perspective, refreshment and strength.
Reading, believing, and applying the Word of God improves your perspective to see God at work.
Instead of allowing the dreary perspective of the world to weigh you down, look to the Lord for a brighter way of looking at things.
Will you find time to meditate on the words of Psalm 119 and draw closer to the Lord for a better perspective?