When their lives look better

"Why?...I don't get it." These are words I often hear in question as I look into tear filled eyes, muttered when I listen to that hurting voice over the phone. And I often don't have words, but I have the Word. 

Have you ever looked at someone's life and compared it to what yours looks like? Envied theirs? Been jealous or felt forsaken? We can always question the "why" to seasons and circumstances of life. 
Why me? 
Why doesn't my life/story look like theirs? 
Why this load for me carry in life?

Perspective will make or break you. It will strengthen your perseverance and without it you will have fleeting allegiance. 

"Your steadfast love is better than life." Psalm 63:3
Better Than Life.

Better than the devastations and disappointments.
Better than the most fulfilling things and moments.
Better than any relationship.
Better than any dream home or job.
Better than any high or any low. 
Better than life.

I've learned that perspective, right perspective is anchoring to endure. A few specific things have helped shape my sight, to keep it on eternity no matter what crosses my path: Psalm 73 and "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn (consider a summer read of these two).

I appreciate the rawness of Asaph in Psalm 73 that I think we can so relate to:

He was despairing and envious of the wicked’s fortune. Those not seeking God seemed to have it all - wealth, abundance, care free lives, reason to boast, overindulging in whatever they wanted with no awareness of God and at no consequence (v.2-12) - so it seemed. It seemed he was missing out and forsaking these things for a worthless time and a God who was not "blessing" him in the same way. He wondered "what am I doing and what is this all for? Is this God even worth it?" (v.13). He felt hopeless, despondent, and condemned for longing for the things of the world that the wicked seemed to all gloat in and enjoy. He felt ashamed and guilty for even thinking it that he couldn't voice it (v.14-15). Sound familiar? He observed the "wicked" and was exhausted trying to answer “why them” and “why not me?”(v.16). “Until”...this is the game changer,,,

"Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." Psalm 73:17

Did you catch it? "Until..." what? Not until he entered the presence of God did he see himself and the world clearly. The sanctuary represented standing in God's presence, holiness, character, spirit and power. I think it was here he was able to set his sights "on things above" and flourish from eternal perspective. He made the Lord His refuge when the world said look elsewhere (v.28).

When you're losing sight, where do you go? To whom do you look to? Fleeting world pleasures or faithful covenant keeping God? 

As I set my gaze on Him, I know Him more. When I grow in sight and view of the unchangeable, unconquerable, immovable, irremovable, untiring, unflinching, unwavering love of God I waver less because my gaze is on the Unwavering one. When looking at the worlds’ ways, Asaph’s (our) sight shifted to a god that seemed to have forsaken him and was holding out, until he fixed his gaze on God did he get it - his end and theirs. 

“Whom have I in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” 
Psalm 73:25

The Lord's considered every possible "what if" in your life, even beyond what we’ve questioned and chooses what will make us more like Him; what will cause us and others to know and magnify Him. That is to be our joy. 

Asaph began desolate, angry and despising the wicked…yet left the sanctuary in worship after gazing at the Lord, longing to “tell of all your works” (v.28). When you are despairing or tempted to give up or give in – look up. What will be your “sanctuary” place to regularly keep perspective? Find those places – gathering to worship with others, being in the Word, a quiet space away in nature, being in community, or an old place that takes you back to your First Love. Find it and be there regularly to the places that raise your sights. 

As we grow and deepen in eternal perspective our envy and jealousy will begin to weaken when looking at those that have things we desire, when we feel we are more “deserving”. Rather we grow in compassion and a yearning to love them with the Gospel and hope of Jesus because whatever you are seeing in their life that raises discontentment in you – is all they have without Jesus. That’s it and an eternity of suffering. Grow in love and compassion towards them to bring light into the dark places of the Deceivers empty lies they are sinking into unless you show them the Hope and purpose in Christ that is faithful and eternal.

“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

In light of eternity, in light of His glory, He allows and do I dare even say specifically purposes in our lives to bear such things so we could offer the comfort we’ve received (2 Corinthians 1:3-6), that we would grow in dependence on Him, find Him greater than anything, and know His grace as sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). He is worthy. He is worth it. An eternity with Jesus - full restoration and peace realized is worth it.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

"Look for yourself and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else." C.S. Lewis