Perceptions are the filters we use as we try to make sense of an event, statement or a situation. Those filters can be skewed by miss information, negative experiences and unhealthy environments that keep us from accepting the truth.

I recently met a gentleman with cancer, who allowed his situation to detour his perception of God and God’s ability. He said “if the apostle Paul prayed and couldn’t receive healing for his thorn in the side, what hope do I have that God could or would even intervene in my case?”

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul said that 3 times Paul pleaded with God to remove his infirmity yet God’s response was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” It seems that God was saying that He use Paul greater in his weakness due to that thorn, than in Paul’s weakness.

While that might be true, we can’t universalize that so it applies to everyone. That would be an incorrect perception. There could be several reasons why some are healed and some are not, why some get healed quickly and others appear to take forever. Sometimes it’s about timing other times it’s about belief or the lack of belief, so how do we arrive at an accurate perception of our trials, problems and defeats in our life?

When I work with people, I constantly ask them to challenge their assumptions and to challenge their perceptions. It’s usually by asking a series of questions like this:

  1. What if your problems were really a gift?
  2. What if the trials of your current situation were actually a gift?
  3. What if your worst day was to be your best day?
  4. What if these trials and problems were happening for you and not to you?


How differently would our perceptions be? When our perceptions originate from Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”, then likelihood of our perceptions being accurate are increased.


Gary Howell

Breathing Life International

Counselor/Field Pastor