Our staff team went to see Soul Surfer yesterday. It was an enjoyable movie and had a great picture of a healthy family. It kept me processing all day. There was a scene where the youth group leader was teaching about perspective and says sometimes we are just too close and need to back up to get some perspective. This is what ends up encouraging Bethany when she is discouraged about loosing her arm to a shark attack.
But back up to where and see what? Seeing how bad others have it in comparison to us will shift our perspective, but is that where God calls us to turn when we are discouraged?
"Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." MT 11:28-30
I am so grateful there are so many examples in Scripture of people turning to the Lord when they are weary. And so many examples of those that didn't and how God wooed them to Himself. Sometimes I just need a very clear picture of how to come painted for me.
1 Kings 18-19:18 Elijah goes face to face in a my God is bigger than your god battle with 450 prophets of Baal. God shows up when Elijah calls fire down from heaven, causes all the people to turn to the Lord bowing down and saying, "The Lord - He is God! The Lord - He is God!", kills the 450 prophets of Baal, prays for heavy rain and out
runs a chariot.
But after all this, "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life" when Jezebel threatens his life. He believes, "I am no better than my ancestors" putting his hope in results rather than his hope in God and follows the downward spiral into depression and wanting to die.
He saw awesome displays of God showing off but he couldn't see it and be encouraged because he was so focused on the results, not God. How easy that is to do!
But God shows up again to reveal Himself to Elijah. The result was a perspective shift and motivation to keep living... to keep serving.
As humans we are desperate to make it a priority of intentionally setting our eyes and hearts on Christ so He can give us a perspective shift. A priority of coming to Him so we can find rest.
Until we get a glimpse of God, we will remain weary and heavy laden.
Some things to process how God has revealed Himself:
1. What did you read about in God's Word and how can you see His heart or character through it?
2. Glance back through your calendar and think of the things you were nervous or fearful about. How did God
3. Think about prayer requests that were answered.
4. Look back through your journal and note the things which stood out or were repeated and how does that reveal God's character?
5. Ask youself: What verses talk about God's character and how did He evidence that to you in your last week?
6. Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine
nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made..." So how can you see God's heart
and character through what has been made?