Rose-colored glasses: An optimistic perception of something; a positive opinion; seeing something in a positive way, often thinking of it as better than it actually is; or a cheerful or optimistic view of things, usually without valid basis
All of us have heard the term “rose-colored glasses”. It usually describes someone who looks at a situation and sees it in a better light than what it actually is. Maybe even as they wish or hope it to be. The world sometimes labels such an individual as someone who isn’t in touch with reality.
There can be a lot of collateral damage when we make decisions based on a distorted reality—no doubt. But as believers, there is a dramatic difference between a distorted reality and real faith. Putting on rose-colored glasses for a believer in Jesus Christ should be choosing to trust what you can’t see. To see our realities in light of the promises of God’s Word. To know God is working behind the scenes in spite of what you and the world see. Everyday, you and I have a choice to see things through the filtered lens of scriptures just like these:
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans for a future and a hope.
And we know that God works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
My husband and I recently had a disappointing “jolt of reality” place us in a position to test this theory out. We could either choose to dwell on the pain of the disappointment happening in our lives or we could look at that same set of circumstances through rose colored glasses. The choice entailed taking an optimistic perspective, developing a positive outlook, believing things are better than they actually seem, choosing to be cheerful in spite of our disappointment —-and from the world’s point of view, all of it without a valid basis. Instead, we chose those “rosey” options based on the promises of God’s Word.
It may seem a little “pie in the sky” to read this. But the process of choosing this discipline unfolded for us when we took to heart the following scripture.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
For us, responding to the Word of God looked like this:
- We started by just confessing our grief to God and asking him to give us wisdom and discernment in the situation. Many of us stay stuck in the grief of a devastating circumstance because we don’t ask Him for help. If you need peace, then ask. If it’s the motivation to forgive and move on, then ask. It should be as natural as breathing to ask Him to give us what we cannot find on our own.
- We wrote down areas where we could see God’s protection when we originally experienced disallusionment. The first thought that comes to my mind is that our disappointment required a move for us. In the months prior, we had been frustrated because we couldn’t find a house to buy. However, as it ended up, God had protected us from being stuck with a home we couldn’t sell. We quickly realized that what we saw as forever, God knew ahead of time would be only temporary. We were now free to go anywhere He leads. In light of our new circumstances, our previous frustration had become a HUGE blessing. But it took stopping and really letting the Holy Spirit reveal those truths to us.
- We asked the Lord to show us what we could learn in the midst of our trials. I encourage you to write these things down. It could be a spiritual lesson in realizing you placed your faith in yourself or someone else above Him. It could even be something more practical like learning to forgive. Or, realizing that if that relationship had continued, or that job opportunity had gone through, it would have taken you in a different direction than God’s plan for you.
- We petitioned the Lord to reveal any blessings that could be found in the midst of our heartbreak. It might be that someone you love isn’t suffering any longer. That though you have lost material gain, you still have a supportive spouse, family or spiritual family. We were able to list opportunities we were able to be a part of, people we would not have met as blessings and even precious time together as a couple we would not have experienced otherwise.
- We made a list of how God can use our challenges to bless someone else. It could be that your testimony of trusting Him could serve as an encouragement to others down the line. Or, maybe the lessons you learn can help guide someone else in the future. There is a healthy perspective that comes when you shift from focusing on yourself to encouraging others. We found that it gave purpose to our storyline and a sweet hope to us that God was taking our circumstances and using them for good.
- The last thing—and probably most importantly—once you have done all of these other things—-do the next thing. That’s right. Just do the next thing. For me personally, I need to make myself a cup of coffee. That is always a good next step for me. For you, it might be to get up and go take a shower. It could be to get in God’s Word. It might be to call a family member or friend. Or, to share your situation with someone who can encourage you. Isolating ourselves during times of pain and disappointment gives the devil a pass to his favorite playground—our minds. Whatever you do, just don’t sit in a puddle of self-pity in a dark room. Move toward the light…the precious light of Jesus.
So next time you hear the term “rose-colored glasses”, embrace a new perspective and try a pair on for size. Take a look at your life through a different color filter. It changed our lives and launched us into one of the most fulfilling times in our marriage. Friend, God loves you. He has not forsaken you. His plan for your life is far beyond this moment in time. You’ve got this…BECAUSE HE’S GOT THIS.
Keep it Shiny,