No one likes problems. We all dread them. There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t prefer to live a trouble-free life. But that not the way life goes.
As the old proverb states every cloud has a silver lining. In other words, there is something good behind every challenge. Problems can prove to be beneficial to us if we approach them in the right way. As such we should look for the blessing or good in every problem.
If you take a step back and examine some of the problems you have faced in the past and even those you are dealing with now, you’ll recognize some of the benefits from those problems.
Problems provide opportunities:
1. To see God’s power at work in your life
Israel’s bondage in Egypt created an opportunity for God to display His power not only to Israel but Egypt and the world at large (Ex. 3: 7-10). It is through the miracles, signs and wonder that the world learned about the God of heaven and earth. Not only did these people learn how powerful God is but they understood that I AM was the God who would be presently continuously available to meet every need in their lives.
Your problem may be God’s opportunity to work powerful and actively in your life. Give God the invitation to fight for you.
2. To build your character
Joseph’s problems of being hated by his brothers, enslaved and taken to a foreign land, wrongful accused and imprisoned and being forgotten when he showed kindness were all part of God’s plan. Joseph had a dream but also many problems before reaching that dream. I think he believed and understood that there was a process of growth he needed before his dream could become real. Both his character and his skill as an administrator were developed during the years of being misunderstood, mistreated and forgotten (Gen. 39 -41, Gen. 45). Joseph stayed the course and God was able to use the gifts he had deposited in him to promote him and to save nations and his family from death (Gen. 45: 7-8).
Problems bring out the precious gems that have been hiding in you. You learn that there is more in you when you’re faced with challenges.
3. To have a more intimate relationship with God.
David is a shining example of someone who had an intimate relationship with God. He certainly had his share of problems. He knew what is like to go hungry but yet he saw God provide every time (Ps. 37:25). He knew what it was like to sin but was quick to learn that God forgives (Ps. 51).
Whatever your problems – sickness, loneliness, lack – you have an opportunity to call on God (James 4:2) and see Him draw close to you. He is the I AM – your Healer, your Father or Friend, your provider and whatever you need Him to be in your life. Run to God with your problem.
4. To provide the solution
The solution may actually and usually does rest with you. The solution can lead to personal victory, closer relationship with God and others, to wealth, fame, or progress. Think of it this way, the conveniences we now have where solutions to problems. The light bulb is the solution to dispel darkness and the telephone broke the barrier of long distance communication. What problems are there around you that you are the solution to or have the solution for?
People pay to have problems solved. Be the solution and be compensated adequately for providing it.
5. To bring out the creativity in us
We are stretched or challenged by problems. They make us think more and bring out the creativity within. A friend once shared her story of having very little in her pantry. She had financial challenges and no money to buy food. While standing in her kitchen, she asked the Lord to show her how to make the best of what she had to give her family a healthy meal. She was amazed at what she was able to do with three main ingredients. God gave her creativity to cook a meal that her family was able to enjoy.
Sometimes we need to step back and look to God – the God of creativity – to help up make the best of every situation.
6. To connect us with people
Sometimes we fail to recognize that problems should not be handled alone. The enemy often causes us to think that we can take care of the problem ourselves. At times we withdraw from the community or church family that God has given to us when we need help the most. The problem becomes more overwhelming and leads to defeat.
When faced with problems this is the time to connect to people. In your church, talk to your pastor, church leaders or small group leaders not only for a listening ear but to pray with you and support you in other areas. At work, connect with your colleagues with specific expertise in an area where you may be lacking. When you connect with people you not only received the needed help but you develop new and inspiring relationships.
7. To demonstrate the love of God
Our sin problem provided an opportunity for God to display how much He loves us. While we were still at enmity with God, He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us and receive our punishment. His desire for us was to that we should not have to perish but that we should be able to live full abundantly lives in Him.
Jesus commanded us to love one another because through the demonstration of our love to each other, people who don’t know Him will know that we are His. This love among us becomes real especially during times of difficult. We can also show love to others by helping when they are in need.
So whenever you are faced with a problem, consider what benefits you can derive from it. Ask God to show you not only how you can solve it or how He will work it out for you but to reveal the silver lining. Approach your problems with a positive view.
Share with us: How do you deal with your problems?