When We Can't Change Our Circumstances by Brittany Price-Brooker
We have all had those days, when everything feels like it’s going wrong. Relationships that were once solid, now seem fragile. Finances feel extra tight, schedules become overwhelming, and it seems like our world is starting to fall in on us. We start to focus more on how difficult our life has become and the weariness we are feeling, with the weight of the world on our shoulders. It’s right about that point that our perspective can shift away from what we do have, to what we don’t have—and we go from confiding in people who understand how we feel, to thinking no one understands the way we are feeling.
Just like everyone else, I have gone through so many days when I felt completely overwhelmed, and I gave in to the wrong thoughts. But, then there were days when God shifted my thoughts away from my daily problems, to an eternal perspective. And even though my circumstances didn’t change right away, my view of them certainly did.
One thing that helped me with this shift in perspective, was to simply make a list of what I did have in my life, instead of listing out what I didn’t have. No matter how difficult my day was, I was always able to find at least one thing to be grateful for. Focusing on the victories, no matter how small they were, instead of the defeats, no matter how big they were, gave my heart a chance to rest in a God who sees and loves me, no matter what I am going through.
Scripture tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) God knows that we struggle with our thoughts, so He reminds us that we can boldly take those unhealthy thoughts that fill our mind with bitterness and fears, and replace them with thoughts that make us better because of Jesus. We become the most discouraged when we allow our thoughts, fears and exhaustion to take over our mind, instead of the truth of God’s Word that He loves us and is working everything out for our good, even when we don’t understand and we can’t see it.
We can give all our thoughts of hurt, anger, unforgiveness and questions to God, He can handle it all. God’s power and ability to overcome is greater than our problems. When the emotions start flooding our mind, we have a choice to make in that moment—are we going to try and handle this in our own abilities and strength, or are we going to turn to Christ for His wisdom and strength? He is the only One who knows our heart, our past, present and our future. When we choose in that moment to start giving God all of our frustrations and pray it out, literally laying all of our burdens at His feet (1 Peter 5:7), God can shift our perspective from ourselves to Him, the One who is carrying our burdens and carrying us.
That is why when we choose to wallow in the pain, instead of going to God first, we are allowing these difficult realities to rule our mind—which in turn starts shifting the way we look at our life. It’s a choice we all have. When we change our perspective on our circumstances, it doesn’t make our problems just go away, but it helps us to depend on Christ and come through the difficulty better instead of bitter.
A lot of times, we don’t have the luxury of changing our circumstances, but we can ask that through the circumstances God would change us. Perspective changes us, it challenges us and reminds us of what truly matters in this brief life we are given. So, no matter how hard of a circumstance you are facing, know that through Christ and the truth of His word and His promises, we can find hope and comfort to shift our thinking and help us view things in light of His perspective.