“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:12-13.
As a pastor, I hear this lament all of the time – “why doesn’t God help me in my troubles?” This is a legitimate question to ask. A lot of Christians tend to be afraid of asking God why, or earnestly seek to resolve their crisis. God uses problems in several ways.
For example, God uses problems to examine you. When God tested your faith with a problem, how did you respond? What did you learn? Is Christ on the throne of your life? God also uses problems to lead you in the right direction. Sometimes God needs to get our attention, to wake us up. Without such wakeup calls we will blindly fall onto the wrong path. He may need to light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems will point us in a right direction if we surrender our will over to His. And finally, God uses problems to discipline you. Sometimes the only way to learn the lessons in life and to make us better is only by suffering and failure. It is like as a child being told by his or her parents not to touch a hot stove. God is not in heaven thinking about ways to make our life miserable. Pain is a part of life, so it is best we accept and learn from it so we do not have to keep getting burned. Psalm 119:71-72 says, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.”
The method does not change the goal; the goal is to make something out of each of us who are followers of Jesus. We may be willing to settle for mediocrity, but God has so much more for you. We should ask ourselves a simple question: what are you asking God to do in your life? Because God wants to do supernatural things in you, things you could never imagine. Isaiah 43:19: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” In other words, God is saying, “Look! Can’t you see it? Can’t you feel this new thing that I’m doing?”
- How is it possible to know what God is trying to do in you?
- What can we do this week to get in step with what God is trying to do in our lives.