We all got problems. Here are four things that are true about every problem you face.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:2-3, NLT).
Think About It
Problems are Inescapable
You will face trouble. Its coming and you cannot stop it, but you can be prepared for it. James clearly says “when” troubles come, not if they come. James does not pretend as though life is going to be easy, neither should you. He expects problems to happen, so should you. Problems are a fact of life, your life. Throughout God’s Word we are reminded to face them and expect them. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NLT). Peter said, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12, NLT). Problems are not an elective in life. They are a required course. You don’t get out of them by saying you don’t want them. No one is immune to problems, troubles, trials, or whatever we decide to call them.
Problems are Unpredictable
Troubles and trials are rarely predictable. James says, “When troubles come your way….” The phrase “come your way” literally means to fall into unexpectedly. It is the same idea used in the story of the Good Samaritan where the man fell among thieves – it was unexpected. Trials are not planned. God doesn’t come to you and ask, “I have this problem I need you to go through in order to develop some things in your life. When would be the best time for this difficult situation to happen for you?” Problems don’t fit into our schedules. They are unpredictable, unplanned, inconvenient, and seem random. That’s what makes a problem a problem.
Problems are Diverse
Problems come in a great deal of variety. They are numerous and vary in intensity. James referred to “troubles” in the plural. One translation phrases it as “trials of many kinds.” The Greek language here is poikilos peirasmos which means multi-colored and was used to describe something that is diverse and varied. This means they will come in all shapes, shades, intensity, and duration. They will have different effects on us and those around us. Some will be minor inconveniences and others a major crisis.
Problems are Purposeful
Every problem has a purpose behind it. God knows that pain can be productive. Pressure produces. Suffering can accomplish something in your life. God deeply understands this and that is why He allows you to go through various kinds of trials. James describes some of the purposes this way, “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that 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 perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4, NLT). Regardless of what you are going through, God will use it to bring about your spiritual maturity. You will be a stronger and deeper follower of Jesus because of them. Learn from them.
How does knowing problems are inescapable, unpredictable, diverse and purposeful help you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for troubles ahead? Why do you think God wants you to know these things about your problems? What is God trying to teach you through your previous or current problem?
Heavenly Father, I know that my problems are inescapable, unpredictable, and diverse. I can’t do anything about that. However, You are consistent and I trust that you will use this problem in my life to shape and mold me into the person You want me to be. You will take this problem and use it for Your glory and my good. I stand on Your truth regarding this matter today. Amen.