Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How To Handle Troubles and Trials

"We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory. That glory is much greater than the troubles." - 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ICB) 

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (fully developed/mature) and complete (fullness/wholeness), lacking nothing." - James 1:2-4 (NKJV) 

For me, personally, this is a revelation for today. So much so, that I wanted to share it so that I could go back and reference my thoughts. And, maybe one day one of my children or grandchildren could read this and it may help them through a problem or trial they are facing. These scriptures are a good reminder about the best response to a problem, trouble or trial.

First of all, let's define what a problem is. Alex's first question to me, when I read today's reading in "Jesus Calling for Kids" to him this morning, said 'do you mean like a math problem?'. And, that's a great question, because it allowed me to further define what God meant by a 'problem'.

So, what is a problem? The definition of a problem, in this instance, is something that persistently wears you down. Something that is a struggle for you. It's something that challenges you. It could be a problem with a relationship you are in - a friend, coworker, family member, etc. It could be a consistent bad habit or thought pattern that leads to an undesired outcome - like an addiction to eating, pornography, drugs. It could be selfishness, pride. It could be something not even brought on seemingly by you. It could just simply be a circumstance or situation that happened to you that's bad - like a death of a close friend, family member or a loss of some kind.

Whatever the problem, trouble or trial - whether it's something you caused by your actions or not - it's clear in scripture what our response should eventually be. Yes, it's only natural that our first response - maybe even for a few weeks or months - is going to be any one of these things: anger, frustration, sadness, depression, self-pity and whining. That's where the world and the father of lies (Satan) wants you. That's a human response and that's completely normal with how you would expect to respond.

So, don't beat yourself up if you have been responding that way - there's no use and no good purpose for that. Forgive yourself. But, now, here comes the good part. You do control your response to a problem.

Here's what I read this morning from JESUS CALLING: 365 DEVOTIONS FOR KIDS this morning:

"When you have a problem that goes on and on, with no end in sight, see it as a wonderful opportunity. An ongoing problem is like having a tutor who is always by your side. If you are willing, you can learn so much from your trouble.  
Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am doing through this problem. I may be teaching you patience or persistence. Perhaps I am strengthening your faith or your courage.  
Thank Me for the lessons you are learning. When you can be thankful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down. In fact, your thankful attitude lifts you up into heavenly places with Me, where you see the situation from My point of view. This lets you see your problems as a small, temporary trouble that is helping you gain an eternal Glory - blessings that will never end!" 

Read Isaiah 30:20-21. Here's what it says - to further make the point:

"And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." 

And, I also should lead you to read James 1:2-8 to have an even deeper understanding of what's going on in the kingdom when we chose to be thankful for our trials.

Eventually, we are all going to have troubles in our lives. It's how we chose to tackle these problems that we begin to see the supernatural changing power of God enter into the situation. It's ironically in being thankful for the problem and sincerely beginning to speak out praises to Him for the trial that we begin to let that problem go. It's all about releasing something that seems completely out of our control and allowing the problem to be our teacher. Allowing God to reveal supernatually to us the solution. 

So, in essence, the solution is in letting go of trying to find the solution in our own strength. It's actually in our releasing that we receive our strengthening. God's Kingdom works differently than the world's kingdom. You see it plain as day when you compare the two.

So, I encourage you today. If you've been wrestling with an ongoing problem/trouble/trial, to begin to take the only attitude that will lead you to the solution: thankfulness and praise. Begin to be sincerely thankful about the problem you are having. See this as an opportunity to learn and grow. As you let it go, it will lose the power it has over you, Satan will once again be defeated, you will be living in a new reality - the reality that is really the truth. And truth will set you free - FOREVER - period. There is no other truth. Everything is false and a lie. Choose to believe His truth in your life today!

May God bless you as you do!

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