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Why God Allows Us to Have Problems
john 16:33
John 16:33 NKJV
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Confession of Faith
I am not moved by what I see or by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe. I believe the WORD of God! The victory is mine! I have it now! I can see it through the eyes of my faith!
Everybody has problems. As someone has said, "Everyone has a problem, is a problem, or lives with a problem." Our problems vary by type and severity. There are financial problems, health problems, and relationship problems, as well as problems of guilt, depression, temptation, failure, stress, burnout, etc. We as believer’s are not exempt from painful problems and often have more problems than non-Christians because the Evil One tries to derail our spiritual lives.
The Greek word translated tribulation (thlipsis, th-lip'-sis) means "pressing or pressure that burdens our spirits." It refers to severe affliction or anguish. In other words, Jesus said, "In this world we will have 'big-time' problems."
Romans 8:35–36 NKJV
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Romans 8 NKJV
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In , Paul writes about all kinds of problems: tribulation... distress... persecution... famine... nakedness... peril... sword and death Then, what does look at what he say’s in
Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
Romans 8:37 NKJV
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
A Conqueror is a person that overcomes and takes control of a place or people by use of military force. Someone that successfully overcome (a problem or weakness. A usual meaning is "above all measure";
What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Conquerors defeat their enemies. If we are more than conquerors, we will make our enemies our friends. Therefore, God can cause even our worst problems to be our friends if we let Him make good come from them
Someone successfully overcome (a problem or weakness). "a fear she never managed to conquer"synonyms:overcome, get the better of, control, master, get a grip on, deal with, cope with, surmount, rise above, get over; More climb (a mountain) successfully. "the second American to conquer Everest"synonyms:climb, ascend, mount, scale, top, crest"the first men to conquer Mount Everest"gain the love, admiration, or respect of (a person or group of people). "the Beatles were to leave Liverpool and conquer the world"
Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
How does He do turn our problems into good? In at least four ways. He uses problems to direct us, inspect us, correct us, and perfect us.
1. Direct Us
Oxford scholar C. S. Lewis wrote: "God whispers to us in our pleasure but shouts to us in our pain." God uses problems to get us back on track or to keep us on course.
Psalm 119:67 NKJV
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.
Toughest Problems.
Psalm 119:67 NLT
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.
God often uses problems to direct us—to keep us on track spiritually.
2 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
2 CorThe apostle Paul writes of God allowing him to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him from becoming exalted above measure because of his abundance of the revelations (). Paul doesn't say what the thorn was, but whatever it was, it was chronic and severe. Paul prayed three times for God to take the thorn away. Many scholars believe Paul's thorn in the flesh was failing eyesight. This is likely because what does Paul write in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
The apostle Paul writes of God allowing him to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him from becoming exalted above measure because of his abundance of the revelations .
Paul doesn't say what the thorn was, but whatever it was, it was chronic and severe. Paul prayed three times for God to take the thorn away. Many scholars believe Paul's thorn in the flesh was failing eyesight.
Galatians 6:11 NKJV
11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
Other scholars believe Paul was often weak and sickly because he may have contracted malaria on one of his missionary journeys. Still others believe Paul's thorn was severe headaches, perhaps migraines. I think God didn't want Paul to tell us what his problem was, because if we had the same problem, we would be tempted to say, "I'm suffering just like Paul." We don't know what Paul's thorn in the flesh was, but we do know how God answered his prayer.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What was God's answer to Paul's request ()? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
God often uses problems to direct us away from sin. It can be to direct us away from someone who may be a temptation or to direct us away from a bad decision.
Psalm 119:35 NKJV
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
On a regular basis, we should pray in regard to our problems Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
On a regular basis, we should pray in regard to our problems
Origin
2. Inspect Us
Here is something I read "Christians are like teabags. You don't know what's in them until they get in some hot water." Problems are really just tests to reveal what kinds of Christians we really are and to prepare us for heaven.
1 Peter 1:7 NKJV
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:6 KJV 1900
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
Peter writes we are going to have manifold temptations (). The word translated temptations (peirosmos, pie-ros-mos') means "putting to the test." Then, what does he tell us is the purpose for our problems in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
1 Peter 1:6 NIV
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
1 P
1 Pet 1:6
The word translated temptations (peirosmos, pie-ros-mos') means "putting to the test."
1 Peter 1:7 NKJV
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Then, what does he tell us is the purpose for our problems in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
Peter compares the testing of our faith through problems to the refining of gold in his day. As gold is heated, impurities float to the surface and can be skimmed off, leaving only pure gold. In the same way, the heat of problems in our lives causes our impurities and defects to come to the surface.
Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things (), so we may not even recognize our own impurities when they surface. Therefore, when we have problems, we need to pray the prayer found in . Personalize and write it below: Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things , so we may not even recognize our own impurities when they surface.
Psalm 139:24 NCV
24 See if there is any bad thing in me. Lead me on the road to everlasting life.
God is our spiritual Goldsmith who, through all kinds of trials, brings our sins and spiritual weaknesses to the surface so we can confess them and let Him skim them out of our lives.
3. Correct Us
We all sometimes get off course and act like the prophet Jonah, whom God tells to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, and preach to the people about their wickedness
Jonah 1:2 NKJV
2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
. Nineveh is to the east, but Jonah gets on a ship and sails west—the opposite direction of God's purpose for his life. During Jonah's Mediterranean cruise the Lord sends a mighty storm that threatens to wreck the ship (1:4). Now we are going to see the worst part of Jonah's sinful condition. What do we read about Him in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
Nineveh is to the east, but Jonah gets on a ship and sails west—the opposite direction of God's purpose for his life.
Jonah 1:4 NKJV
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.
During Jonah's Mediterranean cruise the Lord sends a mighty storm that threatens to wreck the ship (1:4). Now we are going to see the worst part of Jonah's sinful condition. What do we read about Him in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
During Jonah's Mediterranean cruise the Lord sends a mighty storm that threatens to wreck the ship (1:4).
Jonah 1:5 NKJV
5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.
Now we are going to see the worst part of Jonah's sinful condition. What do we read about Him in ? Journey Series - Living Series and Studies - Journey Series – Journey into Overcoming: Rising Above Life's Toughest Problems.
The ship is being tossed to and fro and seems about to break into pieces. The sailors are throwing stuff overboard to lighten the load. They are screaming and shouting as they try to control the ship, but Jonah is fast asleep. Jonah's sound sleep is an illustration of what happens when we get out of God's will—we become oblivious to spiritual danger and do foolish things because we are spiritually asleep. When we as Christ Follower’s get off-course and are content to stay there, God will send a storm to get us back on track. As long as our sin keeps us awake at night, that's good. But if we can be disobedient to God's Word, as Jonah was, and still go to bed at night and fall fast asleep, we better look out for the mighty storm God will lovingly send to correct our course.
4. Perfect Us
James 1:1–3 NKJV
1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:4 NKJV
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:4 The Message
4 So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
The word translated perfect (teleios, tel'-i-os) means "to bring to completion or maturity." Therefore, to make us perfect (complete), our imperfections are being removed from our character. The phrase wanting nothing refers to lacking nothing we need to be used of God.
So, God uses our problems to get us ready to be used by Him.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV
4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
God uses our problems, past and present, to shape and mature us so we can serve Him by helping others. God allows us to have problems to direct us, inspect us, correct us, and perfect us
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