What does God tell me with the problems He permits in my life? The problems we face will either defeat or develop us, depending on how we respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. Do you resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring?
Christians have a great and powerful Father to depend on for any type of need. The apostle Peter encouraged Christians to not worry and trust God (1 Peter 5:7). The following are five ways God wants to use the problems in our lives.
God Uses Problems to Direct Us
Sometimes God must light a fire under us to get us moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change our ways and amend our lives. Proverbs 20:30 says, “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.”
God Uses Problems to Inspect Us
People are like tea bags. If you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them in hot water. Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? “My brothers count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).
God Uses Problems to Correct Us
Some lessons are only learned through pain and failure. It’s likely that when we were children, our parents told us not to touch a hot stove, but we probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something like health, money, or a relationship by losing it. “My lips shall utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your command- ments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:171-172).
God Uses Problems to Protect Us
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents us from being harmed by something more serious. A brother lost his job 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 management’s actions were eventually discovered. Joseph said, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
God Uses Problems to Perfect Us
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 are going to take with you into eternity. “Not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Here’s the point: God is at work in our lives — even when we don’t recognize or understand it. However, it’s much easier and profitable when we cooperate with Him, for He truly cares about Christians.
Isaiah 46:4 says, “Even when you are old I will be the same, and when you are grey-haired I will take care of you: I will still be responsible for what I made; yes, I will take you and keep you safe” (cp. Psalm 37:23-29).