Paul commanded you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:1-2). A sign of Christian maturity is when you start thinking from a Biblical perspective, instead of from a merely human perspective. Some theologians call it adopting divine viewpoint, instead of human viewpoint (see here and here). Spiritual maturity means adopting a divine viewpoint on life’s troubles.
Here is an example of adopting a divine viewpoint on your troubles. In John 17, Jesus prayed for the apostles and for us. As He talked to the Father, He described the very real, very dangerous, adversity all believers will face in the world. And as I read the prayer, it is apparent you have four spiritual assets to get you through this life’s journey.
First, you have eternal life (v 2). Let that sink in. No matter what earthly trouble you encounter, the fact that you have eternal life puts it in a different perspective, doesn’t it? Didn’t get the promotion? Yes, but you have eternal life. Failed your Calculus class? Too bad, but you’ll be spending eternity with God. Angry at the way politics are going in your country? Don’t worry—Jesus will be ruling forever, and you’ll see it for yourself. It’s harder to get upset about the relatively minor inconveniences and disappointment in life when you know the most important question has already been decided in your favor.
Second, you have the Word of God (v 8). People often find life perplexing and troubling and don’t know how to go about living. But believers have an enormous advantage here. God has given us His Word and that Word sheds light on every situation you can face. That assumes you are studying the Word. Seriously. But you must not only know the Word, you must also be able to apply it to your life. If you know it, without being able to apply it, it will do you no good (“faith without works is dead”).
Third, we have each other (vv 11, 21). The world will hate you. That could mean your family, your friends, and your community will reject you. You might find yourself ostracized from worldly society because of your faith in Christ. But take comfort in the fact that you have a new family, the church. You aren’t alone. Not ultimately. There are other believers witnessing, struggling, being persecuted, and fighting for Christ. Take comfort in that. Be inspired by that. And meet regularly with your new family. We need each other.
Fourth, you have Jesus praying for you (Ch. 17). That’s what the entire chapter is about, isn’t it? Jesus is praying for you through all the troubles that you’re going to go through. Nothing has caught Him by surprise. He is not being passive. Jesus is doing at least one thing for you: praying.
Reconsider your personal challenges in light of these four Biblical truths. Do they help bring your trials into focus? Do they change the way you look at them?