More and more often I find myself praying either for someone else or myself to get God's perspective on a situation.
I have come to realise that many of our problems are caused by a skewed view of the circumstances. And if we could only see them the way that God saw them then it would be so much better.
For example, there are some Christians that end up getting a divorce. To get to that point they usually must have pretty different points of view about things, or be at loggerheads.
Also it is very common for Christians to leave the church they have been in for a number of years because they disagree with something or someone in that church.
But God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So He has only one view of the situation, which of course is the right one because He created us, and is perfectly holy, loving and righteous.
Therefore if all the people in those situations suddenly gained God's perspective there would be peace, instead of division. So how do you find out what that is?
I think the obvious answer would be to keep yourself reading the Bible so you understand more how God sees things. But I think when it comes to specific situations what we really need to do is to pray that God would show us His view on it, and show the other people as well!
And God does answer this prayer. I have had a problem with someone before, and prayed this prayer as well as prayed for that person, and I very soon saw things from their perspective, quite differently from how I had before.
It is also a great help when it comes to things that happen in life that we don't understand. For Job in the Bible, suddenly everything had come crashing down in his life for no apparent reason. His friends were telling him he must have brought it upon himself by sin, and he was wondering why?
But from God's perspective it was completely different - He was simply showing how righteous he was to the devil, who claimed that he was only a good man because God had surrounded him with so many good things. Job would have had no clue of that!
Here is an excerpt from Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan (you can read more in an excerpt here), which brings some of God's perspective into things that we tend to see quite differently:
"If you do what is right, it will go well with you." God says to Cain...What will go well? I would like this to mean God will stay the hand of death, of disease, of accident and injury and illness, always, everywhere, right to the sweet gentle end, for me and those I love, and then that he will whisk us Enoch-like to heaven…
But of course, it doesn't mean that—the idyllic, undisturbed life. That might happen. It might not. That is not important to whether it goes well with you.
God's definition of it going well is unique, distinct, almost eccentric. His definition of wellness is not about health, finances, or job security. It's not about unfailing protection from the vagaries and dangers of a broken world.
It's not about life being fair.
It's about acceptance. It's about God accepting us as his own, the one he loves. It's not about being spared from untimely or difficult death. It's about being spared the "second death"—the death of unbridgeable separation, the death that is at once coldness and burning, oblivion and torment, a writhing crowd of teeth-gnashers and the desolation of unending aloneness.
Because of Jesus Christ, we have received God's unmerited favor. And, actually, that favor has always been unmerited. If we do what is right, it will go well with us. The right thing is faith—to have faith in the one who doesn't always remedy life's unfairness but who does far better: He redeems it—its unfairness, its brokenness, its disease and death—and he gives us back sevenfold all the years the locusts have eaten. "Today," he says to repentant thieves, to trusting Abels, to dying little girls, "Today you will be with me in paradise."
Next time you are in a situation where you and another person are seeing something completely differently, or if you see friends with major differences, or you are struggling to understand something that is happening, try praying for God's perspective on it for the people concerned.
Sometimes we still may not understand, like Job who was asking why? But then we need to remind ourselves and trust that God is in control and will work everything for our good. And hold on to Jesus and our hope of heaven through whatever we are going through.