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Summary: Problems and trials are a normal part of life. This message seeks to give understanding as to why God permits trials to come into our lives.

GOD’S PURPOSE IN PROBLEMS

TEXT: Ps.119: 65-75

INTRO: Whether we like it or not, problems are a fact of life. It is not a matter of “if” problems come, but “when” problems come. You know, as well as I do, that even with the best of preventative measures problems still have a way of cropping up. It’s enough to make one believe that there really is such a thing as “gremlins,” little unseen creatures whose only goal is to throw a wrench in the works of all our best-laid plans. We know of course, that that is not true, but sometimes it sure seems that way.

The trials and tribulations of life have a way of knocking the wind out of our sails. One day we’re going along pretty well, when some unforeseen situation suddenly blows us out of the water. At that moment, it seems like life, as we know it, will never be the same. We have to be careful at this point however, that we don’t get so focused on our circumstances that we can’t see Christ. Believe me, that is an easy thing to do.

There is one thing we need to get straight in our thinking today—our trials do not destroy us, but our response to them can. Devastating things happen to people all the time, but not all are destroyed by them. So what’s the answer? The answer lies in the choices that one makes when faced with a difficult situation.

With these thoughts in mind, our choices can be positively affected simply by understanding some basic principles as to why God permits pressures and problems to come into our lives. At the time we’re going through a trial, we may not know what God’s specific reason for it is, but we can know generally why God has permitted the situation. It is these principles that we want to examine today.

THEME: God permits trials and problems in our lives to:

I. REVEAL THE SAINT’S SPIRITUAL SITUATION

Ps.119: 67 “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”

A. Affliction Is Often God’s Method Of Causing Us To Examine Our Sin.

1. For Israel, affliction was often an indication of God’s displeasure.

Deut.31: 16 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them…”

2. The main purpose for Israel’s afflictions was that they might examine their relationship with God.

Deut.31: 17b “…and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us.”

NOTE: [1] The word “among” means, “the nearest part, i.e. the centre” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia, #7130 of the Hebrew And Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 105).

[2] When we cease to keep God at the center of our lives we can be assured that trials and problems will soon follow. That’s because God as a wake up call often uses afflictions. Without a doubt, that is the reason for our nation’s great afflictions.

2a. The fact that this nation aborts over one and a half million babies a year, is a good indication that God is no longer at the center of our nation.

2b. The fact that rampant violence ravages our nation to the tune of close to 25, 000 murders a year is a good indication that God is no longer at the center of our nation.

2c. The fact that our public schools have become battlegrounds where kids are killing kids, is a good indication that God is no longer at the center of our nation.

2d. The fact that A.I.D.S. and other venereal diseases are at epidemic proportions is a good indication that God is no longer at the center of our nation.

2e. Should we not, like Israel of old, ask the question, “Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us” (Deut.31: 17b)?

B. Affliction Is Often God’s Method Of Causing Us To Be Enlightened To The Solution.

1. The solution is to seek the Lord.

Ps.107: 13 “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.”

Hosea 5: 15 “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”

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