Every challenge you face in life, every personal hardship, and every frustrating headline should remind you to check the way you look at the world. Which lens will you choose to look through—fear or faith?
I'm not talking about taking life's lemons and making lemonade from them. Rather, can you look beyond the sour and the sweet and see that God is sovereign? When panic comes knocking, can you access His peace? When worry casts its shadow, are you willing to worship Him?
The best way to check your worldview is to bring your response to trouble in line with what the Bible says. The Bible lays out a distinct way of looking at the world. Here it is in a nutshell: God created everything and called it good; mankind made a bad choice that has had disastrous repercussions for every generation since; death has reigned—spiritually, physically, and morally—but God staged a long-term rescue mission; that mission began when Jesus dealt with sin at the cross, and it will culminate when He returns to rule over a restored creation with those He was sent to save.
If you don't live with that worldview, most of life will seem senseless, haphazard, arbitrary, cruel, isolating, and frightening. Even if you live with that worldview, life will still hurt and be hard, but the bigger picture of God's purposes will bring clarity to you and comfort you.
The Bible helps us lean into this perspective. It shows us that even as Christians, we're not immune to pain. Even Jesus—who knows a thing or two about suffering—said that the Father "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).
It might be oversimplifying to say that bad things happen to good people, because the Bible also makes it clear that, in light of God's holiness, there are no "good" people. We all fall short, and our most righteous deeds are a pile of dirty rags before the Lord. But the wonder of God's purpose in our lives is that He works all of our shortcomings and shortsightedness and messiness into an eternal opportunity for good, if we trust in His sovereignty (see Romans 8:28).
Think of David, the man after God's own heart. When bad things happened—when he was on the run from Saul, for instance, persecuted unjustly because of Saul's jealousy—David still believed God was in charge and in control. He had a high view of God. This belief steadied him and kept him from dishonoring the Lord.
David's suffering still ministers to us today. When bad things happened, David could say, "But God is still on His throne." That means when bad things happen in our lives, it's not the end of the story. Evil may succeed for a day or for a season, but in the end, God will triumph, and we will triumph with Him. In the meantime, every hardship is an opportunity to check your worldview and look to God. Are you looking?