Finding the Proper Perspective for the Journey

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,
for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.

James 1:12 (ESV)

The journey of the Christian life is oft tumultuous. The journey from salvation to glorification (heaven) is often called the process of sanctification. On this journey, we often find ourselves in situations we may have never dreamed we would have to face as Christians. I am sure that many of us thought the Christian
life would be easy and carefree when we were in our spiritual infancy. There are many reasons for this, but I want to focus solely on one: perspective. Having the proper perspective of the Christian journey helps to make the journey more enjoyable, or even, at the very least, more understandable. Scripture provides plenty of examples of those who had what could be best called, “Kingdom Perspective.”

In reflecting on the lessons of recent Sunday School classes on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, it has become increasingly evident that there is an importance to having a “Kingdom Perspective.” Consider the context from which Paul is writing: in prison, afflicted by his captors, and by those who sought to afflict him with their own preaching ministries (Phil. 1:7-17). None of these would have been pleasant for Paul. Paul, however, was not phased. His focus was not on his current trials or context. Rather, Paul placed his focus on someone who is unshakeable. Philippians 4:18 states, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in that, I REJOICE.” Paul chose to rejoice in his sufferings because he recognized that his sufferings are minute in comparison to the grand plan of God, the spread of the Gospel, and Paul’s own eventual glorification that will place him in the presence of God Almighty forever. Our own situations may not look like Paul’s imprisonment, but they are still an opportunity to focus our perspective on the Kingdom and the King. Perhaps you find yourself in some sort of emotional struggle at work; you don’t want to be there, and every day is painstaking to get through. Perhaps, God has you there for a reason, and there is someone He wants you to reach. Or perhaps he simply wants to make you more like Christ, and this trial is better for you, for the kingdom, than anything you could have imagined for yourself. Rejoice brothers and sisters that we are counted as ones whom God has entrusted to help spread His Kingdom.

I am also reminded of a recent sermon, “Trusting the Mystery of His Growth Plan.” In difficult times and trials, often we ask ourselves, “Why me?” I cannot speak for all of you, but the answer I seem to get is often no answer at all, at least not immediately. Rather, I am stuck continuing along in whatever trial has come my way. It is only after the trial has gone that I begin to see the growth that has been made because of the trial. The growth of being made into the likeness of Christ. Puritan John Flavel puts it best, “We discern growth of grace as the growth of plants, which we perceive to have grown, rather than to grow.” We may not see the growth at the moment, but we can trust that God is good, and He is sovereign, and He is working in you and through you, both to make you more like Christ and to continue to build and strengthen His Kingdom and His Glory.

Another facet of this “Kingdom Perspective” is that what we might call “righteous suffering” is actually seen as worship to the Lord. Consider the words of Peter: “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose since Christ also suffered for you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:19-21 NASB). Indeed, Christ is our great example, for He was perfect in every way, yet, as the author of Hebrews states, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV). Seeking to be imitators of Christ, let us each run our race worshipping God in everything that we do.

Finally, let us remember that no matter what circumstances come our way, we are never alone. God has given us His indwelling Spirit to strengthen us, comfort us, and transform us. It is only by this Spirit that we can have hope to overcome and persevere through the trials that we face. It is only through Him who transforms us to come out of the other end of the trials more like Christ than before. It is this Spirit who can keep our eyes fixed on what truly matters, giving us a “Kingdom Perspective,” that we may seek to discern and act out the will of God in every area of our lives. Let us all seek to continue to elevate our perspective to align with the King of Kings and the building of His Kingdom, that in all things Christ will be glorified, forever and ever.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

Nate Myers

August 1, 2023

Troy Christian Chapel
400 E. Long Lake Road
Troy, MI 48085

Phone: (248) 689-2046

Sunday School - 9:00 a.m.
Worship Service - 10:30 a.m.

Worship & Bible Study - 7:00 p.m.
Children - 7:00 p,m,