What is the point of problems?

Sometimes it is a good idea for us to remember that our problems and trials are not as big as we might think they are.

July 18

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us - they help us learn to endure.

Romans 5:3

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What is the point of problems?

Rejoice in your problems and trials! Celebrate when you experience tribulations and suffering! That is probably not our first response to things like that in our lives. Typically, if there is going to be a party during those times it is a pity party. Paul is suggesting that during our times of distress that we rejoice and thank God for those times. Before we label Paul as a nut-case we ought to look closer at who is saying this and who he is saying it to.

A close study of Paul’s life, which you can read in the New Testament, will tell you that he was a man that well-accustomed to trials, tribulations, and suffering. He had experienced more really difficult things than most of us ever will. Most of us have never been stoned (with rocks), flogged, or ship-wrecked just to name a few of the things that happened to Paul. He also lived with some kind of a physical ailment that he begged God to take away and was told by God, “My grace is sufficient for you”.

This letter was written to the church in Rome that was experiencing great levels of persecution. Each new Caesar that came to power stepped up the pressure on the Christians. It was becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian. Most of us have no idea what it is like to experience that kind of life. It was to a people who were in the midst of great problems and trails that Paul, a man well-acquainted with problems and trails, wrote this epistle.

Sometimes it is a good idea for us to remember that our problems and trials are not as big as we might think they are. Granted, to us they are very big but in proportion to what others are experiencing they are not so huge. It is also always good for us to remember that God has a plan in those problems and trials that is meant to move us closer to being conformed to the image of His Son Jesus.

We see one of the end results that God is looking for through our problems and trails; endurance. Endurance is the ability to continue or last until the end of the race. It is God’s desire that we would be able to run the race to the very end. The only way that we will be able to do that is if we are strengthened in those areas where we are weak. God allows problems and trials to come into our lives so that we will see where we are weak. As a loving Father, He will help us through those times, but His desire is that we would build strength of our own. The reason why He wants us to have strength is so that we can help others through similar kinds of times in their lives. In the midst of your problems it is probably difficult to rejoice but you should recognize that it is not made as a suggestion, but we obviously have a choice. It is also difficult to look at our problems and trials and see them in light of how they will help others; that also is a choice. Jesus, teach to see the goal that You have for us in our problems and trials.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: 1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34; Romans 4:13-5:5; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 19:17

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