When the Outlook is Bad – The Art of Re-Framing

man in button up shirt
Photo by Khaled Reese on Pexels.com

Look at the world around you today and chances are you may see more ugliness than beauty. Scanning the headlines and listening to news reports can have a depressing effect, to say the least. Near and far, the outlook is often bleak.

This is exactly the tension that David described in Psalm 36. In the first few verses, he was bottomed out because of the prevalence of evil in the world. Looking around, he was dumbfounded and discouraged by what he saw.

Can you relate?

But then David looked in a different direction. After confronting the brutal facts, his focus shifted from the badness of men to the beauty of God, and the vibe of his lyrics shifted with it.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.

What happened? David re-framed. He changed his focal point from the ever-present backsides of fallen people to the steadfast love and faithful character of the Lord. As one writer puts it, David’s eyes went from “Man at his worst” to “God at His best.” The outlook gave way to the uplook.

David’s focus shifted from the badness of men to the beauty of God.

This is the art of re-framing. Rather than featuring the harsh and ugly realities of the world every day, we choose to feature the sustained beauty of God’s grace and mercy, as portrayed in the gospel. Not that we ignore the headlines; we can’t. We go there. We just don’t stay there.

Re-framing. What a difference it makes.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.


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