Throughout this week we are looking at five ways God uses problems in our lives. 1. God uses problems to direct us.
2. God uses problems to test us.
3. God uses problems to correct us.
4. God uses problems to protect us.
Sometimes God allows problems in our lives for our own benefit. A problem may actually be a blessing in disguise when it prevents you from getting involved in something harmful. The Bible says, “It is better if it is God’s will to suffer from doing good than doing evil.”1 Peter 3:17
I once heard about a man who was asked by his boss to make an unethical decision but he didn’t want to do it. His boss said, “If you don’t do it, you will get fired.” He refused to do what is wrong and he was fired from his job. It just so happened that in a matter of a few weeks, he found another job, a much, much better job than the one he lost. A few months later, his former boss and all of the top employees of his former employer were indicted and went to prison for fraud. Did God protect him? I believe he did. He suffered for doing right rather than for doing wrong. If I’m going to have problems, I’d rather have them for doing right rather than wrong.
For some of you, getting fired may end up being the best thing in the world for you. Maybe there is a temptation at work, a circumstance detrimental to you and your family, to your health, to your spiritual life, and God knew what He was doing all along.
One very good example of suffering for doing good is the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. His brothers sold him as a slave. The wife of the master that acquired him tried to tempt him to go to bed with her day by day. Joseph said NO, so she falsely accused Joseph of rape and he went to prison for not giving in to temptation.
But while in prison, Joseph met two men who, because of the relationships they developed with him, later brought him to power in the nation of Egypt. He became second in command only to the Pharaoh. He came up with the plan to save the nation of Israel. While Joseph was in jail, God was preparing him for great things. God knew what He was doing. Joseph said in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
Problems are a necessity in preparation for eventual success. Experience failure and you can immediately learn what does not work.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,