“I know I should be thankful instead of being angry, but it’s difficult to not feel like God has cheated me when I see that others have and what I don’t have.”
This was the sentiment spoken from a discouraged and heart-broken counselee who had faced some difficult troubles for many years. Envy and anger had become the predominant fruit in her life which resulted in misery and sadness. This counselee reminded me of Asaph, the author of Psalm 73. He had admittedly become envious of the arrogant because they were experiencing worldly and temporal prosperity despite their ungodly lifestyle. When Asaph compared his afflicted life with that of the prosperous ungodly he concluded that he had lived a righteous life in vain. Such a conclusion is likely to lead to anger, discouragement and bitterness. Fortunately, Asaph didn’t stick with this conclusion, but gained a different perspective when he entered the sanctuary of God. As he refocused his gaze onto the unseen and began to consider his circumstances in light of the character and ways of God, he analyzed his problem from the lens of godly wisdom and concluded that his problem was a covetous heart.
Like Asaph, this heart-broken counselee needed a new lens in which to view her circumstances. Thus, we began looking at how the Apostle Paul viewed his circumstances while in a Roman prison as recorded in Philippians 1:12-26. As we began to unpack this passage, hope began to fuel the counselee and her countenance changed. She began to see all that was being gained and accomplished through Paul’s imprisonment for the purposes of advancing God’s eternal plan of redemption. This led us to consider what potential good purposes God was working to accomplish in her life through troubling circumstances. We referred to the homework assignment, “Discovering God’s Good Purposes in Your Perplexing Circumstances” to help her gain a biblical perspective in her troubling circumstances. The recorded testimonies of Asaph and the Apostle Paul teach us to view our circumstances with eyes of faith. They teach us to focus on the good purposes God is accomplishing in our trials, things like putting off sin and enduring in our affliction. We all need this reorientation, at times. And like Asaph, when we have that biblical perspective it changes everything.
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