Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Re-Framing the Picture

How we view life will determine how we evaluate our pleasures and our troubles. If the frame is narrow, eliminating all but ourselves or what is close at hand, then every pleasure will be a "got-to-have" and every trouble will be monumental. But if we allow Scripture to help us in re-framing the picture, then God's presence in our view of life will dramatically change our perspective. We won't live because of our pleasures, or die because of our troubles.
Romans 5:1-5 helps us with re-framing the picture. "Having been God-justified through faith (of) Christ, we have peace with God." The text goes on to say that, not only do we have peace, but we also have access to God, and then, that we have reason to rejoice.
We are aware of our immediate troubles, those closest to home. But few of us deeply grasp the seriousness of our trouble with God, a trouble that began long before we were born, and a trouble that will pursue us past death all the way to judgment day. By re-framing the picture to include God and our trouble with God that has now been solved and replaced with peace, our more immediate troubles shrink in perspective. If God has solved this huge problem, then He surely can help me through these other struggles.
We often face disappoint or rejection. Husbands and wives experience the cold shoulder. Parents of teens experience the sullen stare. Employees experience being overlooked and under-appreciated. But (re-frame the picture) God's door is always open. We have access to the throne-room. The King of the Universe is always listening, and He always cares. If I am rejected by every human person I know, I will never be rejected by God, and that makes human rejection bearable.
There are as many different joys as there are persons, it seems. "To each his own," so they say. But many of these pleasures are short-lived, and the fallout is less than pleasurable. God gives us reason to rejoice that looks forward to a world that does not yet exist, and that focuses on a Person that is not me. "We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." And we believe, based on God's promise, that our highest satisfaction will be found in His glory. Moreover, we rejoice in life's troubles, realizing that God is so great and gracious that He can make stinky situations result in sweetness for our souls. And then, we rejoice that God loves us no matter what with a love that is deeper and richer than any other love that we have ever known.
So since the picture has been re-framed, we are not free to draw back to our narrow snapshots of our worlds that are only big enough for our own mug shot. I am not free to view my troubles as the end of the world. I am not free to do illegitimate or immoral things because some person has rejected me. I am not free to be consumed by temporary pleasures, or whine and complain about temporary problems, or to go looking for love in all the wrong places. I can't, because of a view of the world in which God is big and great and gracious, and He changes the way I see things.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Thank you for this! This is definitely a good reminder. So many times I get caught up and forget to include God in the picture when thinking about things, even good things. Including him changes all of the parameters and certainly influences the possible outcomes.
The other day we were thinking of just the depravity of many things in the world - it seemed hopeless - and it is, without him. But, when Christ was included, the focus ceased to be on the depravity, but on the reconciliation that is possible through Him.