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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Learning That A Happy Person Sees God’s Bigger Picture

In review of Philippians 1:12 it says, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News”

Bottom Line:
I want you to know, they everything that has happened to me, has helped to spread the Good News.

What this means to me:
Things that happen in my life can be used to help spread the Good News. I have recently gone through a major illness (which could have been deadly) where I spent 22 days in the hospital due to a serious infection. During this time, I never really felt like I was in danger (even though the surgeon was very concerned; I had six surgeries.) I had piece of mind knowing that regardless of what happens God was with me. As I reflect back, I see how God took something really bad, something that was a wake-up call for me, and turned it into something good. As a result, I have lost weight, and have my blood sugar and pressure under control. Even my arthritis has not flared up. I praise God for this. I believe the God will have me use this experience to share with others my belief and trust in Christ. I have great joy in this. What I’m learning is that to be a happy person, I need to look at every problem from God’s viewpoint. A happy person will have a larger perspective. They are able to see the bigger picture. When I get discouraged, frustrated and unhappy, it’s because I have lost sight of my situation from God’s point of view. So, no matter what’s going on in my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, God is working out a plan. Paul knew this very well. He says in Philippians 1:12, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News” (NLT). Ever since Paul became a Christian on the road to Damascus, he had dreamed one great dream: He wanted to preach in Rome, the center of the universe at the time. His dream was to preach the Gospel in the most important city in the world. But God had another idea. Instead of sending Paul to Rome to preach crusades, God made him a royal prisoner of Caesar, who was at that time Nero. Nero was about as wicked and as bad as you can get. As a royal prisoner, Paul was chained to a royal guard 24 hours a day for two years, and the guard was changed every four hours. Over two years in prison, he witnessed to 4,380 guards. So who was the real prisoner here. Who ended up having a captive audience? This wasn’t Paul’s plan, but it was God’s all along. There were two results of this that we know for sure. Philippians 4 says that within two years, some of Nero’s own family had become believers because of Paul’s witness in the royal court in Rome. Secondly, it’s kind of hard to get a guy like Paul to stop moving. In prison, he was forced to be still and, as a result, wrote most of the New Testament. He had a bigger impact: both his preaching in the Colosseum and the books he wrote, such as Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. These seven books have revealed Jesus to millions of people over the years. Paul knew that God had a bigger plan, and he could be happy because he saw what God was doing through his problem. In summary, any time I have a problem that’s starting to get me down, I’ll need to do what Paul did; learn to see it from God’s point of view. I should learn to ask, “What is God doing here? What’s the bigger picture? What’s the bigger perspective?” If I can, then I’ll be able to face the problem in faith.