How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thess. 3:9)

“How much farther, Dad?” It was my son’s favorite question—and not just when taking a road trip. It was also his usual question on the few times he accompanied me on mountain hiking trips. A question which, when coupled with an attitude, kept him from enjoying the tour. The journeys became about reaching our predetermined turnaround point rather than taking pleasure in the trek. His perspective also kept him focused on the pain instead of God’s beauty.

Perspective: How I feel about something, followed by interpretation, regardless of whether my conclusions are correct or not. Then I act, but my actions are colored by my viewpoint. Only by changing this can I alter my actions.

Paul founded the church at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey but had to leave quickly because his life was threatened. He sent Timothy back to check on the new believers. Paul’s perspective changed when he received word their faith and love were strong. He wrote this letter to encourage them in their faith journey and to share his joy.

Even the most dismal situations can be seen from a different perspective when we acknowledge God’s presence and control. Life’s apparent failures can actually be deemed beneficial by claiming God’s involvement and trusting His ability to transform evil into good. Our faith journey is not just about reaching the end but enjoying the hike.

Let the assurance of God’s presence change your perspective.

Martin Wiles loves using his writing to help others move further in their journey toward spiritual maturity.