A Summons To A Different Perspective
“BLESSED are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12 The Lord constantly urges us to see things from a heavenly perspective and not from the world’s way of looking at things. When first reading this, it’s hard to grasp that when people are talking about you behind your back, when they mock you and persecute you, the response Jesus said to have is to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Can you imagine a world in which people respond with rejoicing when they’ve been maliciously gossiped about behind their backs? To be exceedingly glad??? No, the response we see instead is a harsh comeback and self-justification. That is the human reaction, the reaction of our fallen human nature, the nature we were born with. What Jesus is saying is that we are to rise above our fleshly nature and see things from HIS perspective. He said that when people speak about you, gossip about you, lie about you, or accuse you falsely …then stop and realize that every such act is noticed by heaven and your reward - if you handle it correctly - will be something truly great in heaven for all eternity. In fact, it will be so great that the Lord says to be EXCEEDINGLY glad. It must be something far beyond our present ability to imagine. Truly, if we knew, if we truly understood this – we’d actually hope for more persecution! This is the paradox of seeing things from God’s perspective. One day the Lord spoke to me in my prayer time, “How do you define wisdom?” I sat there and thought on it, mulled it over, and couldn’t come up with a right answer. So I asked him, “how DO you define wisdom?” He answered, “Wisdom is the ability to see a thing from God’s perspective.” Friends, do not think that your suffering is wasted, for surely it is not. The Lord sees every tear and records it. But he counsels you to rejoice instead of reacting in the flesh. Spend time before him asking him to show you HOW to be able to rejoice when you’re being laughed at, or when you’re being rejected. It’s not something one can do in his own human nature, human nature so obviously doesn’t work that way. One cannot imagine a friend coming to our door excited with glee and anxious to tell the joyful news that he has been gossiped about or falsely accused! There is no way that is going to come forth from human nature. When the Lord calls us to overcome, it follows that he is the only one who can make it happen. He is the giver of life, and he is the author of our spiritual growth. He will always be calling us higher, bidding us to rise above our worldly circumstances and desiring us to see things from his perspective. When we become able to do that, THEN we will be able to "rejoice and be exceedingly glad." Pray with me: Father, sometimes the things you say are so contrary to our human nature that it leaves us perplexed, knowing we absolutely cannot be or do as you say. There’s only one remedy to that, and that is the new life you breathe into us, enabling us to rise above the fleshly and to live in the spiritual. Father, I was born into this fallen human nature, and there’s no fallen way a fallen person can be anything different – until …you raise me up in a new perspective. I surrender to you all the fallenness that dwells within me, all my emotions, all my judgments, all my reasonings, and I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit and enable me to begin seeing everything from your perspective. You are the only one who can make this happen, and all I can do is surrender to you and invite you into every situation I find myself in. Let me know what it is to react in the Spirit and to see the flesh be overcome. In the name of Jesus I ask this.