You cannot live life from God’s perspective and not your own without consistent, informed, faithful prayer. Praying constantly for God’s wisdom and discernment is a lifestyle habit that will keep your world balanced. Your heart can remain right-side up, regardless of the circumstances you encounter.
Paul commands all of us to pray constantly, continuously. To do this, we must see how God has prepared us in his Word, by his Spirit, to respond to the unexpected events of life. I have written this book to provide you with scriptural truths that will help you pray and think in ways that will transform your perspective to see God’s good purpose in all that happens. Embracing these truths will enable you to remain right-side up instead of upside down!
The immediate context of this book is set against the Corona Virus outbreak in 2020. But the biblical principles are timeless and have helped God’s people throughout recorded time to remain faithful and upright in a turbulent world.
It is not the traumatic and sudden events of life that turn our world upside down, but rather our responses to these events that make all the difference and determine our perspective. Life becomes traumatic and overwhelming when we choose to follow our own natural responses instead of embracing God’s perspective. Your daily prayer life plays a huge role in your ability to keep life-altering events from becoming life-dominating in a way that really turns your world upside down.
Allow me to offer a personal experience to illustrate this truth. In 2010, my wife, Ruth, was diagnosed with advanced Glioblastoma, the most lethal form of brain cancer. She embraced this diagnosis with gratitude to God and determined to live the rest of her life, however long that would be, to pray for and encourage others with God’s faithfulness.
Through excellent care from the Brain Cancer Center at Duke University, she lived another three and a half years. Not once during that time did I ever hear her say, “Why, me?” or anything close to it. She was fifty-six years old when she was diagnosed. She was a beautiful, faithful mother and wife. She was a brilliant Old Testament scholar. We had planned that she would be able to spend years teaching, writing, and encouraging people to train their children to love God’s Word—but he had other plans. Ruth rejoiced in this new direction. Her life did not turn upside down. Rather, her faith has become a rock to many.
This is best illustrated by a precious memory that will always be engraved in my heart—the memory of the day Ruth told her mother about her diagnosis. Ruth’s mom, Genevieve, is still alive today. Ruth was like her mom in that she was a woman of strong faith and minute-by-minute prayer. They both loved God’s word. It was and is the foundation of their lives.
One afternoon in early April 2010, Ruth and I walked up to her mother’s home to tell her what God was doing. I was confident that the conversation would go well. But I was totally blown away by what I heard. I listened in the kitchen as Ruth and her mom talked in the living room. They rejoiced at the good providence of God and were thrilled that they knew God had planned this moment before time began. They both took great comfort in the fact that God could be trusted. I heard joy, laughter, and praise that, at moments like these, their loving Sovereign God could be trusted.
That moment was the result of both Ruth’s and Genevieve’s solid trust in the good providence of God. There were no tears that afternoon, except mine. These two women, living testimonies of faith, rested in the secure knowledge that their God was being faithful to them. They were comforted and secure in knowing they did not have to fear the days ahead.
This little book is all about how to walk before God in prayer and faith so that you will be able to remain right-side up when life appears to be upside down.
Excerpted from When Life Turns Upside Down by John A. Younts.