I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “perception is reality.” And, although your perception could be entirely wrong, it still contributes to and creates your reality. Therefore, your perspective can determine and be the lens through which you view your circumstances. But just the opposite is true: your circumstances can also dictate and determine your perspective—for better or for worse.
When you experience a natural disaster or even something more or less traumatic than this, your mind and heart begin to play tricks on you. Your circumstances can begin to alter and create a perspective in your mind that may not be entirely true. You begin to feel things you never felt before, you begin to think things you never thought before, you begin to experience things you never experienced before. Your circumstances begin to create and dictate your perspective.
For me, after the earthquake, this is where fear and anxiety set in. The emotions are not something one chooses but rather feelings that happen to you. There is no magic switch in your mind to release you from fear and anxiety.
Recently I listened to a mini-sermon by John Piper where he explained that one way to begin to combat anxiety is to fill your mind and heart with the Truth from God’s Word. Even if you don’t believe these truths at first, faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of God. Therefore, we need to hear truth. We need to meditate on these truths at all times.
The Word of God is like a breath of fresh air—especially since I have lived in Nepal. It gives me life. It provides me with a solid foundational truth. It strengthens my faith as I hear it and begin to believe it for myself and others.
Our perception on what is happening can have a surprisingly positive outlook when viewed in light of Scripture. Even when we feel the world around us shaking, if our perspective is grounded in the Truth of Scripture, we can have Hope for what is to come. We do not have to fear or be anxious for we know, we know, we KNOW the Lord Jesus is with us. He has not forsaken us. He is right there with us through the circumstances we are in no matter how awful or terrible they may seem.
As I leave Thailand in the next couple of days to head back to Nepal and join my husband there, I am overcome with the reality of our circumstances. The reality is that I am entering back into a disaster area. However, the perspective I will go back with is entirely different than the one I left with. This perspective is grounded in His Word. It is grounded in His Truth.
I am anxious. He says be peaceful.
I am fearful. He says be courageous.
I am overwhelmed. He says He has overcome the world.
I am weak. He says that is where His strength is found.
I am useless without Him. He says He is with me.
I am sinful. He says I am forgiven.
I am struck down. He says I am not destroyed.
I am grieving. He says He collects my tears.
I am weary. He says He can handle all my sorrows.
The road ahead is a long road indeed. But the beauty of the circumstances is that regardless of my best of days or my worst of days, my perspective can be set on Him—the author and perfecter of my faith, of my life, of my days.
He is God with us—and His love for us will never be shaken. His covenant of peace will not be removed. Praise God we have a kingdom that will not be shaken. That’s perspective to hold on to. That’s perspective to share. That’s perspective that offers hope.