Perspective Changes Everything (Changing Perspective)

Sermon Summary

 

This message is the second in a series that looks at people in the Bible who were facing difficulties and needed to see things from God's perspective rather than from a human perspective. The same thing applies to us today. This lesson looks at the life of King David starting when he was a young man and then after he became king. When David was younger a majority of his challenges came from without and were the result of other peoples actions. He needed God's perspective to overcome the challenges he faced from family and others. However, when he became king, David made some very poor choices and his challenge was to find God's perspective concerning his personal failures and being able to get his life back on track and headed in a Godly direction! He does get right with God and eventually writes 73 of the 150 songs in the Book of Psalms. In one of these songs he gives some great advice on how to find God's perspective in life.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Do you ever have a difficult time seeing God's perspective when you're in the middle of a difficult circumstance? Explain.

2. David had to find God's perspective when he faced opposition from some members of his family and when he faced the skepticism of King Saul. His brother questioned his motives and Saul question his abilities. Have you ever had to overcome opposition and skepticism in your life? What difference does it make to find God's perspective in times like that? David wrote a song about the difference God's perspective had made in his life. Read it and it will help you answer this question...

Psa 23:1  A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Psa 23:2  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
Psa 23:3  he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psa 23:6  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

3. David made some tragic choices when he was king and it almost destroyed him. He allowed sin to take him places he never dreamed he would go. At one point he thought it was impossible to be forgiven and even after being told by the prophet Nathan that God had taken away his sin, he still grieved over what he had done and struggled to get a new perspective on life. Why is it so hard accept forgiveness and to forgive ourselves? Why is it so important that we do?

Psa 130:1  A song of ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
Psa 130:2  O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Psa 130:3  If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
Psa 130:4  But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
Psa 130:5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Psa 130:6  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Psa 130:7  O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Psa 130:8  He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

4. There were 13 different insights found in the first nine verses of David's song found in Psalm 37. Read these nine verses and see if you can pick out some of these. See the sermon notes if you need to. Discuss a few of these insights and why they could help you discover God's perspective.

Psa 37:1  Of David. Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
Psa 37:2  for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Psa 37:4  Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psa 37:5  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
Psa 37:6  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Psa 37:7  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psa 37:8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.
Psa 37:9  For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.



Full Sermon Notes

Changing Perspective

"You rescued me so I could stand and sing!"
I know there are people in this room who need to be rescued so they can stand and sing again. Life can sometimes rob us our ability or desire to sing, or hum, or even whistle. Sometimes you can get to a place where even hearing a song just grates your nerves. Solomon, the son of the man we're going to talk about today wrote these words...

Proverbs 25:20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Today we're going to discover the secret to finding perspective so you can sing again. Let's pray and ask God to teach us principles that will change our perspective and put a song back in our hearts. Let's pray…

"Sweet Jesus, You are an amazing rescuer! You came to rescue us from our sin, and all that sin has produced in our lives. Things like despair, depression, discouragement, guilt, condemnation, and punishment. You also desire to rescue us and help us when other people are responsible for stealing our song. When others do things that hurt us, break our hearts, put us down, and discourage us, we need You to give us a Godly perspective so we can sing no matter what! I thank You for listening to my prayer. I ask You to anoint this message today with the power of Your Holy Spirit and help us all to find Your perspective in all things! Hide me behind the cross of Christ and let others see You clearly so they can find their song and once again be able to sing and find purpose in their lives. I pray this prayer trusting solely in You!! In Jesus Name I pray and believe, Amen!

As I said, some in this room are carrying a heavy load! For some, it's outside circumstances you have little or no control over. For some, it's something you've done and you carry guilt. For others, you may know you're forgiven, but it's the consequences that weigh you down. For some, it's not something they did, but pain that is caused by someone else's actions. Finding forgiveness is not easy: for others or for yourself. And of course I could go on listing circumstances in life like, health issues, financial, work related, school related, family related, etc. But there is hope! You can change your perspective to God's perspective and sing again. But in order to change perspective you've got to first find God's perspective in everything!

There's someone in the Bible who changed his perspective by finding God's perspective. We're going to look at some of the drama of his life and see how he found perspective, God's perspective. His name was David, King David, and just hearing his story may change your perspective! "Whoa, my life's not as bad as I thought!" In David's younger life, it was the actions of others that were most problematic.

Finding Perspective In Opposition

1 Samuel 17:12-30 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was old and well advanced in years. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.” Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear. Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father’s family from taxes in Israel.” David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.

Have you ever been in David's shoes? He was doing all the right things, but there was opposition. He was accused of irresponsibility, being conceited and wickedness. His motives were even questioned, and to add insult to injury, it was his brother who he had come to bring food to. When you look at the facts, David had been very responsible and made sure everything was taken, the sheep, the food for his brothers, everything. David was aggravated and said, "Can't I even speak?" But he didn't let that stop him. He immediately turned away from the criticism and continued his questioning. Sometimes you just have to ignore opposition and keep on going!
What happens next is fascinating.

Finding Perspective In Skepticism

1 Samuel 17:31-37 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

Talk about perspective! David didn't listen to the skepticism. As a result, Saul sent David on a mission to take care of the Giant, and I think we all know what happened. David, with the help of almighty God, took care of business. Now, you would think Saul would be happy about this. But...

1 Samuel 18:6-9 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

Ever felt like you couldn't win for loosing? David must have felt like that at times. Saul would later try to have David killed and so David had to go on the run. Eventually, David  replaced Saul as the King. And it was as King that David's issues became more self-inflicted because of very poor decisions. This is where it gets tough. Remember, last week I told you how I appreciate the fact that the writers of the Bible did not try to hide their questions about God or their questions about their faith? Well, another thing the writers of the Bible never tried to hide or cover up was the mistakes, indiscretions and sins of some of their most influential leaders. The Bible tells the truth in agonizing detail!

Finding Perspective In Personal Failure

2 Samuel 11:1-15 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

I know, it's hard to imagine someone doing such a thing. But we should remember what R.G. Lee, who pastored First Baptist New Orleans in the 1920's, said...

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay, Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.“

David had been very successful. David had great wealth and great power. But somehow he had lost his Godly perspective and began making some very tragic decisions. It was effecting his leadership of the nation and brought great troubles on his family. God sent a prophet named Nathan to confront David and bring him to his senses. Listen...

2 Samuel 12:1-7a The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!"

David realizes what he has done and said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."
David assumed what he had done was going to bring a death sentence from God. From a human perspective, David could only see punishment and death in his future. David found himself in a place where human perspective left no hope, no way out, no future, no forgiveness, no reason to live!

Some of you have either been there or you're there today. But listen to what Nathan told David...

2 Samuel 12:13b … Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die."

Finding Perspective In God's Forgiveness  

Sin has consequences and some are really tragic consequences. Uriah was gone and there was no bringing him back. David's bad example would affect his children and their behavior. David couldn't change those things, but he could allow God to change him, his heart, his actions, his attitudes, and his perspective.

But here's what had to happen: David had to repent, and call upon the Lord! David had to turn his life over to God, quit living for self, and start living for God's higher purpose! Listen to David's words in Psalm 6 and 13...

Psalm 6:1-4 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.

Psalm 13:1-6 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him, ” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

David wrestled with what he had done. He grieved over his sin. He was heart broken that he had let the Lord down after all God had done for him, but he decides to turn from his sin and turn to God! He accepts God's offer of forgiveness and salvation. His heart changes, his priorities change, his perspective changes, his life changes. His begins to sing again. He wrote 73 of the 150 Psalms.

And one of his Psalms, songs, gives us great insights on changing perspective.
Psalm 37:1-9. The one I told you about last week. We will wrap up our message today with these insights...

Psalm 37:1-9 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret —it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Ok, insight #1...

Do not fret x3!

Must be an important fact in changing perspective because it's listed three times in 9 verses! Do not fret because of evil men, or when they succeed in their ways and wicked schemes (payday someday). And just don't fret period, it leads only to evil! So if you're fretting, "stop it!"

Insight #2...
 
Do not be envious!

Trust me, you don't want the life they have. It may seem grand on the outside, but when you get behind closed doors, it's just not pretty! When you allow yourself to be envious of others your perspective becomes warped and you can't see your blessings, your potentials, your possibilities, your gifts, and your contribution to family and others.

Insight #3...

Trust in The Lord x2!

Trust the Lord to help you do good in your life and trust the good that God is going to do in your life! Don't just talk about trusting Him and sing about trusting Him, stop worrying, fretting and wringing your hands, put things in His hands. Trust Him! It will change your perspective. Like this...

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Insight #4...

Do good!

Get so busy doing the dos you don't have time to do the don'ts! I got an email yesterday from Warren, most of us know him as Bull, it said…"The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one!" It's amazing how your perspective changes when you start doing good things. It feels good because it is good and God blesses those who do good!

Insight #5...

Dwell in the land!

Don't just occupy the land, live in the land. To dwell is to live. Don't just go through life existing, live every day to the fullest no matter what your circumstances and your perspective will change and when it does your circumstances may begin to change because a positive, Godly perspective always helps you make better decisions in life!

Insight #6...

Enjoy safe pasture!

Don't just dwell, don't just live, but enjoy! Life is so much better when we trust that as long as God has a purpose for us to achieve, He will give us safe pasture.

Insight #7...

Delight in The Lord!

Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Some think this means they'll get whatever their heart desires, but it actually means that if you greatest delight is The Lord, then He will put the right kind of desires in your heart and if He puts the desires in your heart then He will give you the desires of your heart because He put them there in the first place!

Insight #8...

Commit your way to The Lord!

When you commit your life, your goals, your desires, your plans to the Lord, David says God will do this:

Psalm 37:6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Insight #9...

Be Still before The Lord!

Anybody in here so busy you don't have time to be still? If you want a Godly perspective on life, you must take time to be still and think about and mediate on God and His words of wisdom! Slow down, and think a little bit about life, the meaning of life, the importance of life and brevity of life!

Insight #10...

Wait Patiently on The Lord!

Don't get upset if God doesn't fix all your problems over night. We didn't get here over night and some things just take time. Being patient is a way to showcase your trust in God's timing!

Insight #11...

Refrain from anger!

No one's perspective is clear, or good when they're angry. You may have a right to be angry but the Bible is clear...

James 1:20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Insight #12...

Turn from wrath!

Don't seek revenge no matter what another person has done or how wrong they've been. That doesn't mean you let people walk on you, or that we are never to seek justice, it's just that we should never be wrathful about it. In fact, we should feel sorrow for people who live their lives in such terrible ways. They are miserable on the inside and we should pray for them!

Insight #13...

Hope in The Lord!

When you put your hope in a man, or in things, or in your 401k or your company, or anything in this old world, you may in for a let down. It's not that they are all bad, just don't put your hope in them. Put your hope in The Lord! He's the only one you can know will never let you down, never leave you, and will never break a promise to you!

Remember, hope in the Lord is not a hope so someday, but a know so one day! Hope in the Lord is followed not by a question mark but an exclamation point or maybe two!! Hope in the Lord will help you find God's perspective and change your perspective to God's perspective! This will change your life no matter your circumstances!
Let's pray!