Problems happen all the time in our lives, sometimes because of mistakes we make and sometimes just because of circumstances beyond our control. We must have the “resiliency” to bounce back and move forward. Circumstances may “knock” you down, but they can’t “knock” you out unless you give up. You must never give up because tomorrow is hopefully just around the corner.
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There is no straight road for anyone. You cannot achieve anything significant in life without paying a price. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not taking any risks. Without risk of failure or problems, there is no growth.
When we look back over our life, all of the “fateful twists” and “turns” will fit together like a puzzle. We are writing our stories right now, and they will become our “legacy.”
Those who believe in Christ will experience troubles because we are trying to be God’s people in a “perverse” world. Some people say that problems are the result of sin or lack of faith, but the Apostle Paul in the Bible scripture teaches us that they may be a part of God’s plan for us believers. Our problems can help us look upward and forward, instead of inward; they can build strong character; and they can provide us with opportunities to comfort others who also are struggling.
Many people think that believing in God protects them from problems, so when calamity comes, they question God’s goodness and justice. Faith in God does not guarantee that troubles won’t exist in your life. If this were so, people would believe in God simply to prosper and stay clear of troubles. God is capable of rescuing us from suffering, but He may also allow suffering to come for reasons we cannot understand. It is Satan’s strategy to get us to doubt God at exactly this moment. If we always knew why we were suffering, our faith would have no room to grow.
Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything (James 1:2-4).
Our problems should not interrupt our faith, praise and joy. Seeking God’s solutions for our problems should enhance our faith, praise and joy.
In the Bible, the book of James doesn’t say if you face trials, but whenever you face them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook because of what trials can produce in our life. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance.
We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for His promise to be with those that believe in rough times. Ask Him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; He will stay close and help you grow.
You must remember God works in “everything,” not just isolated incidents for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our “fallen world,” but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill his purpose.
We can best prepare for life’s inevitable problems by living a life through faith, love, obedience to God’s will and prayer. We are encouraged to be strong with God’s power. If we go into life’s battlefields already equipped with God’s spiritual armor we will more quickly and easily win the battles that our problems bring. The heat of battle is no time to be looking for armor and putting it on.
In the book of Psalms 107:43 in the Bible it says, “Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” The more we see God at work in our problems, the more we learn about His faithful, loving character in our lives.
The problem with leading a moral life is that we can deceive ourselves into thinking that our good choices are also God’s will. I’ve learned the hard way that just because an idea is good and not “evil” doesn’t necessary mean it is “God.” There is a huge difference between a “good idea” and a “God idea.” But other times we reap a season of problems because of what we have “wrongly” sown, whether unintentionally or not.
Most of us make day to decisions based on our “worldview,” which consists of the answers we have given to life’s most important questions. That guides us in decision making in both “conscious” and “subconscious” ways. The assumptions that we sometimes make about the “nature” of God, man, the world, the devil, sin, eternal life, and salvation determine our foundation. How we build on that foundation determines whether or not we will stand or fall in times of problems.