Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for Monday, July 10, 2023. Today, I’m writing about embracing life’s challenges as I look at how problems shape your life journey.
Maybe, like me, you’re facing challenges in various aspects of your life. I’m dealing with health issues like trigger finger (see photo), irritable bowel syndrome, and pancreatitis. Plus, I’m sixty-nine years and nine months old. Father Time has found me and is working me over.
Some of these issues are my excuses for being slow in getting edits/rewrites completed.
Be it personal, professional, or spiritual, it’s important to recognize that life presents us with many opportunities for problem-solving.
How we respond to these obstacles determines whether they will defeat us or contribute to our personal growth.
In this article, we’ll explore how God uses problems to guide, examine, correct, protect, and perfect us, as supported by powerful verses from the Bible.
1. God Uses Problems to Direct You (Proverbs 20:30)
Sometimes we need to experience painful situations to prompt us to change our ways. The blows that wound us can cleanse away the evil within us.
“Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.” These challenges can act as guiding forces, redirecting us towards a better path.Proverbs 20:30
2. God Uses Problems to Inspect You (James 1:2-3)
Faced with various troubles, we are called to embrace joy, knowing that these challenges test our faith and build patience within us.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”James 1:2-3
However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid excessive self-analysis, which can lead to a detrimental “why me Lord syndrome.”
3. God Uses Problems to Correct You (Psalm 119:71-72)
Difficulties can often be the catalysts for necessary corrections in our lives.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”Psalm 119:71-72
These afflictions, in hindsight, may be the best things that could have happened to us, guiding us to pay attention to God’s teachings and guiding principles.
4. God Uses Problems to Protect You (Genesis 50:20)
When others intend to harm us, God can transform those negative intentions into something good. Joseph acknowledges this truth in Genesis 50:20.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”Genesis 50:20
God’s divine intervention can protect us from harm and transform our trials into blessings.
5. God Uses Problems to Perfect You (Romans 5:3-4)
Rather than discouraging us, problems can serve as opportunities for growth and character development.
Romans 5:3-4 teaches us to rejoice in our sufferings because they produce endurance, character, and hope.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”Romans 5:3-4 ESV
These challenges strengthen our faith, enabling us to trust God more deeply.
Problems, when approached with the right perspective, have the potential to shape our character. While comfort may be appealing, God is more interested in our character development.
Our relationship with God and our character are the only things we will carry into eternity. Therefore, let us embrace the challenges we face, knowing that God desires to bring about positive changes in our lives, allowing us to make a difference in this world.
Remember, problems are not roadblocks, but stepping stones on our journey towards personal growth and spiritual maturity.