Purpose Behind Your Problems
Pastor Rick Warren
My troubles turned out all for the best. They forced me to learn from
your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in
a gold mine. Psalm 119:71-72 (Msg)
Life is a series of problem-solving
opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you - depending
on how you respond to them.
Unfortunately, most people fail to see how
God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent
their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.
Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:
God uses problems to DIRECT you - Sometimes God must light a fire under you to
get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to
change. Is God trying to get your attention? "Sometimes it takes a painful situation
to make us change our ways." Pr. 20:30 (GN)
2. God uses problems to INSPECT
you - People are like teabags if you want to know what's inside them, just drop
them into hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems
reveal about you?
When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of
joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give
you patience. (James 1:2-3, NCV)
3. God uses problems to CORRECT you -
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child
your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being
burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something - health, money, a relationship
- by losing it.
It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it
taught me to pay attention to your laws. (Ps. 119:71-72, LB)
4. God uses
problems to PROTECT you - A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents
you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend of mine was
fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss asked him to do. His
unemployment was a problem - but it saved him from being convicted and sent to
prison a year later when his boss actions were uncovered.
You intended to harm
me, but God intended it for good . (Gen. 50:20, NIV)
5. God uses problems
to PERFECT you. - Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders.
God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship
to God and your character are the only two things you're going to take with you
We can rejoice when we run into problems they help us
learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps
us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong
and steady. (Rom. 5:3-4, LB)
Here's the point: God is at work in your life
- even when you do not recognize it or understand it. But it's much easier and
profitable when you cooperate with Him!
Article by Rick Warren, Saddleback
Church. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest,
CA., a congregation that now averages 16,000 in attendance each weekend. Rick
is also author of The
Purpose Driven Life and The
Purpose Driven Church, and founder of Pastors.com,
a global Internet community for those in ministry. From Rick Warren's Ministry
Toolbox, a free weekly e-newsletter for those in ministry. © Pastors.com,
Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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