Is There Purpose Behind my Problems? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Is There Purpose Behind my Problems? — Morning Devotions

Often, we can be left in situations in our lives wondering how any good can come out of it. But God promises to work in all things for good.

By Chris WittsMonday 16 Oct 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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One of the facts of life is that we will strike some problems along the journey of life. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?—but I’m amazed at how shocked some people are when difficulties come their way.

It’s as if they live in a cocooned world where they expect difficulties to happen to others, not themselves. But that’s not how life is. It would be nice if everything was easy and life flowed smoothly along—but sorry, that’s not the reality. You can be driving along a busy freeway minding your own business when another car runs into the rear of your car, injuring your kids in the back seat. It happens in seconds. So random and without reason.

Life rarely turns out the way you’ve planned. An unexpected health diagnosis, a sudden job layoff, a surprise relationship breakup, an accident—all kinds of challenges can come into your life at any time and blow your best plans apart. When that happens, you have a choice. You can allow your circumstances to bring you down and try to survive in a miserable state. Or, you can decide to rise above your challenges so you can thrive despite them. Don’t let your circumstances have the final word in your life.

Looking at the Long-term Benefit

I really like what Rick Warren wrote in 2015. He hits the right spot with good advice:

When we go through difficulties in life, the first thing we try to do is blame somebody else. But it doesn’t matter where your problem came from—God still has a purpose for it in your life. Even when you do stupid things, God can use it. Even when other people hurt you intentionally, He can use it. Even when the devil plans bad things for your life, God can bring good out of it.

And here is Rick Warren’s best piece of advice:

God’s purpose is greater than your problems and your pain. God has a plan! You need to look past the temporary pain and look instead at the long-term benefit in your life.

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When we are facing problems in life, it can be difficult to believe that God has a plan through every challenge that we face. We can be tempted to believe that God is more interested in punishing us than in helping us. We can be tempted to believe that God would rather see us struggle than conquer. It can often seem as if our problems are running over us. We may even feel that the situation is completely hopeless and that we’ll never recover from it.

“…God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 – NIV)

These are the exact times when our faith must be the greatest. If God is the creator of all things, it follows that he is also bigger than our problems. That means that there is nothing happening in our lives—or even in the world—that is beyond God’s control. The faith part is believing that to be true, but also in seeking his help. Not always easy, I know—but it is the only way to be at peace in this world. Who wants to live a miserable life every day.

Sometimes we just need to step back and try to do our best to view our situations from afar. If we don’t understand the problems that we face, we may be experiencing them for some reason that is simply unknown to us now. Several possibilities arise. God could be:

  • trying to prepare us for something bigger in the future.
  • trying to humble us, as a way to make us better servants.
  • working to give us greater empathy for others.
  • closing the door on something in our past to open a new one to something entirely different.
  • trying to get us to recognise and repent of an unconfessed sin.

And he may simply be trying to draw us closer to him—we’re never closer to God than when we are broken .It’s not easy to do, but it helps if we can try to put our problems into the bigger-picture perspective. God may be trying to work something out in our lives that we simply don’t understand right now. But at some point in the future, it may become abundantly clear to us, and we’ll realise that it’s for our own good.

God is Always in Control

No matter how bad things look, God is always in control. A great verse in the New Testament says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 – NIV).

How much do we believe that Bible verse? It’s easy enough to believe it when life is easy and everything seems to be going our way. But the real test of faith is believing it to be true when everything seems to be running against us. It’s never easy to believe such a bold promise when you are surrounded by what seems to be insurmountable problems. But that is what faith is all about—believing firmly in what is unseen, while that which is seen seems to be so threatening.

We need to have that kind of faith, and to never ever let go of it. But here’s what a great man of experience wrote in the Old Testament—I refer to David:

“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 – The Message)

May you one day be able to say with King David, My troubles turned out all for the best.