Summary: Solving Problems God’s Way: Part 5 The Benefits of Problems
Solving Problems God’s Way: Part 5 The Benefits of Problems
A minister was preaching about the benefits of living as healthy a life as possible. He decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.
Four worms were placed into four separate jars.
The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.
At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:
The first worm in alcohol - Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead.
Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead.
Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.
So the Minister asked the congregation - What can you learn from this demonstration?
A little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said, "As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!"
* That wasn’t the benefit the preacher was wanting to get across.
* It may sound impossible, but if we respond correctly to our problems we can actually benefit from them.
* Most of us want quick solutions to our problems, but God wants to make sure that all His disciplines for character development in us and those around us are accomplished before He removes our problems.
* People try different means to escape their problems – alcohol, drugs (legal & illegal), reading, workaholic.
* Some say “If I could just go somewhere else!” - circumstances are not the problem.
* God is also more concerned that the right procedure be followed in solving the problems than that the problems are actually resolved.
* We want to get out from under the pressure of our problems, but God wants to use that pressure to motivate us to a greater level of spirituality than we would otherwise have achieved.
* Often our present problems are the results of past disobedience. Now God is using these problems to apply the pressures we need for complete obedience.
* If we fail to gain these benefits from our present problem, He will only have to raise up new problems.
* “Benefits” of problems – it almost sounds like a contradiction!
* The word “problem” carries the idea of something bad or perplexing.
* Webster – 1) a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution. 2) a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation
* So you may ask, “How can anything good come out of this problem?” “What benefit is there to my problems?”
Let’s think about 4 benefits to our problems today.
1. The benefit of receiving more grace from God. James 4:6
* Nothing is more humbling than experiencing conflicts we cannot solve, especially when others know about our problems. But it is this very experience that God uses to break our pride and give us grace.
* Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
* God "gives" more grace… implies something you didn’t have before.
* II Cor. 12:7-10 God did not change Paul’s circumstances but gave grace to enjoy problems.
* How many have given testimony to the fact that it was when they hit rock bottom,…when their problems came in upon them like a flood, that they looked to God and their lives were turned around.
* The success of our life is entirely related to how much grace God gives us. Grace is the desire and power to do God’s will.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
* Peter’s prayer was that grace would be multiplied to every Christian.
2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
? How then do we get this grace? There is one primary way - by being humbled.
-- You can’t buy grace… you can’t earn grace
-- But you can get grace given to you IF you meet the condition of humbling yourself.
2. The benefit of self-examination. I Cor. 11:31-32
* There is something about problems that causes us to look inside.
-- We ask the question, "What did I do to make this happen?", "What did I do wrong?", or "Why is this happening?", …"Why now?"
* God desires that each of us examine ourselves.
1Co 11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
* If we would self examine our motives(our hearts) then we are NOT disciplined by God.