The Key to Happiness


"It's not about you."


That first sentence in The Purpose Driven Life could be a whole book by itself.

The more I learn about life and about how to live it, the more I'm coming to realize the whole key to happiness is perspective. Our perspective completely controls us and determines how we act and react to the events around us.

Events are neither good nor bad---it's all in the perspective of the one affected.

Consider this scenario: An apple falls from a tree. Is that bad or good?

To the apple farmer looking up into the empty tree, an apple falling is the sign of birds or disease attacking his livelihood. He shakes his head, asking why God would allow such a thing.

But an apple falling into the hands of a hungry little boy beneath the tree is a miracle.

It's all about perspective.

The first step in the pursuit of happiness is realizing that It's not about me. When we view life events from a human perspective, the world can seem a dark and scary place, filled with potential tragedy. When tough times come, we're tempted to rail at God: How could you let this happen? I thought you loved me!

Everyone has been there. But that line of questioning only leads to anger because the focus is wrong. The question presupposes that I am the center of my universe. 
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When we shift from a me-centered outlook to a God-centered one, and choose to view life events as opportunities specially designed for us by our loving Father, everything changes.
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When we understand  that His purpose in everything is to draw us to Him and make us more like his perfect Son, life starts to make sense. When we begin to view life from God's perspective, many of the issues that so puzzled us before now have reason. They may be difficult, but they're not pointless.

An eleven-year-old child lying in a coma with a life-altering brain injury looks like a terrible thing. When the doctors shake their heads and tell you not to hope for much, it's easy to wonder if God is paying attention. If she lived, she would be forever handicapped. From a human perspective, this was not for the best.

But from God's perspective, He was giving a little girl and her family the unique opportunity to grow. He had allowed hurt to accomplish greater good so that she would draw closer to him and to live out her teen years, not in typical self-centered rebellion, but in devotion to God and others.

Her injury has matured our daughter Susie and deepened her faith like nothing else would have. At 20, she still deals with daily pain and limitations, but she has a passion for God and others that radiates from her life and impacts many for his kingdom. We also had to grow through this and learn to trust that our Father knows what we need and will provide it. Her injury is a very good thing--designed especially for us to achieve the eternal benefits God wanted for us.

When we learn to view every situation from God's perspective, life no longer seems so cruel and unfair. No amount of "putting the best face on it" or "trying to see the bright side" heals a heart that life has crushed. It is only when I learn to trust that nothing can happen to me without my Father's express approval and for a specific purpose that life begins to make sense.

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