The last couple of months or should I say years have been quite difficult and challenging both on personal level and also for the country I live in-Greece. Unemployment rising to skylimits, suicide rates rising like never before, people’s faces and words full of despair.All we hear or talk about are our problems and troubles and how unbearable everything is to handle.
Last night Greek state broadcaster was shut down by the government. Protestors are protesting against this act. Different opinions are being expressed through all social media networks, etc. I have understood that people want change, want transformation but when change takes place and shakes them of their comfort zone they do not like it and are against it. Have we ever stopped to think what the purpose of problems are in our lives? Have we ever stopped to think that a diamond to become the jewel we all see and admire must go through a very rough process? What about glass, gold, metal? They all go through the fire to become bottles, jewelry, etc.
I am not ashamed to state that I love reading my Bible and praying. One of my favorite scripture passages came to my mind while thinking about all these things, so I opened up my Bible to read it again. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29”
God has a purpose behind every problem. Each circumstance is used by Him to develop our character. Jesus Himself told us that we would have problems in this world. He told us the narrow path is difficult but it leads to eternal life. None of us lives a problem-free life. Life is full of problems. Some are big, others are small but they are all significant for our spiritual growth. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you”
God uses problems to draw us closer to Him. Just think that in the darkest days of our lives, when we feel hurt, broken and abandoned that is when we turn to Him in humility. We have many examples of this in the Bible. Joseph was thrown in jail, Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den, and the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked three times. Could God have prevented this? Yes He could have but He didn’t. He allowed all these problems to happen, and the result was that everyone one of these persons came closer to Him.
Our problems help us to look at, trust and depend on God. We understand through them that God is all we need. All that happens to us is part of the plan of God for our life. This includes our mistakes, hurts, debts, illness, and sins. Not everything in life is good but He uses everything and brings good out of it.
He wants to build our character. Each problem we face is an opportunity to develop our character. These circumstances are temporary, but our character will last forever. Think of these troubles as a fire that burns away our impurities. Gold and silver to become like the way we see it and use it has to go through the fire first before it becomes shiny. God wants us to become more like His Son Jesus Christ. He wants us to develop a Christ-like character.
He knows what is best for us. He has our best interest at heart. When we go through the trials we must stop dwelling on them and the pain they cause and dwell on Him. Keep our eyes on Him. Focusing only on our problem will distress, discourage and depress us. Give thanks to Him in all circumstances. His Word tells us to do so. It doesn’t say give thanks only for the good, trouble-free times, but in all circumstances. Of course, He doesn’t want us to be thankful for evil, sin, suffering and their consequences, but He wants us to thank Him because He will use all of these problems to fulfil His purpose for us.
We must be patient and persistent as our character is being developed through all this.We must let go of our Ego and allow the changes that need to be done in us and in the world around us. We must not conform to the bad things around us but even through these things we should try to take the crisis and conflicts and turn them into opportunities. When facing trouble we mustn’t ask “why me? Why is this happening to me? We should instead ask, “What doYou want me to learn from this?” We must keep trusting in Him and keep on doing what is right. We shouldn’t give up, but instead of being eternal infants we must grow up! We can’t expect to be infants for the rest of our lives. We must learn to walk, run, leap! We must become mature and be transformed.
All throughout History there has been change, transformation or else we would still be living in the age of Neanderthals….