Summary: There are many internal benefits and blessings of problems. Let’s examine some of those benefits.
The Blessings and Benefits of Problems (Part 5)
1. We have learned that problems are a part of life. Because of the curse of sin on this earth, problems are woven into the fabric of everyday life.
2. There are many internal benefits and blessings of problems. Let’s examine some of those benefits.
First, problems can lead us to a state of humility.
Second, problems can teach us patience.
Third, problems can cause us to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
Fourth, problems can open doors for ministry to others.
Fifth, problems can strengthen relationships or allow new friendships to begin.
1. God recognizes our need for human relationships and friendships. Consider Christ:
• Jesus was known as a friend to publicans and sinners. Luke 7:34
• Lazarus was Jesus’ friend. John 11:11
• Jesus told His disciples that He would no longer call them servants, but He would call them friends. John 15:15
• After Jesus healed the man of Gadara, He told him to go home to his friends. Mark 5:19
2. Relationships can be life-changing. The friends we choose can either make us or break us in our spiritual life. Proverbs 13:20, 22:24-25
3. It has been said, “Prosperity begets friends; adversity proves them.”
4. Why are friends so important during times of testing and problems?
• Because one of the main purposes of friendship is to be there to extend a helping hand in time of need. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
• Because our need for human companionship multiplies during times of testing and trials. Jesus is our example. Matthew 26:36-45
• Because, many times, God works in our lives through people. Many times, He comforts, assures, loves, and cares for you through others. 2 Timothy 1:15-18
5. God knows we need strong marriages, relationships, and friendships in our lives. God can use a problem in our lives to restore a marriage, strengthen a relationship, or form a friendship.
6. Our closest relationships are those with whom we have walked through the fires and floods of problems, trials, and suffering. Proverbs 18:24
7. The life of Joseph is a great illustration of the fact that God can work through our problems to restore broken relationships.
• Joseph’s relationship with his dad and brothers had been severed because of pride and jealousy.
• Joseph in turn went through many problems and adverse circumstances.
• His dad and brothers were enduring a terrible famine.
• God worked through the problems to restore the relationship between Joseph and his family. Genesis 45:1-15
8. But, we must actively seek to strengthen our relationships when going through problems. It will not happen automatically. How can we do this? Let’s learn from the Master – Jesus Christ. Let’s look at three simple, yet incredible truths that have the power to radically change our relationships in a positive way.
A. By maintaining open communication
• If you have a red letter Bible, look at John 13-18 and notice how much red there is. This was just prior to Jesus going to the cross.
• As the disciples were about to go through the most turbulent time of their lives, Jesus kept the lines of communication open. After the resurrection, it was the same way. Example: Luke 24:44-45
• Misunderstandings kill relationships. Communication clears away the fog.
• The strongest, closest relationships will have conflicts. When this happens, we have two choices:
? Talk it through.
? Turn and run.
• Many satisfying relationships have been terminated because one or both parties decided to quit talking.
? Illustration: You go to water your flowers, and the hose has a knot in it which restricts the flow of water. You can’t say, “Oh well,” and walk off. The flowers will die. When there is a knot in our line of communication, and the communication stops, mark it down, the relationship will die.
• Ephesians 4:29 – This verse provides the three laws of effective communication.
? Godly – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…”
? Good – “…but that which is good to the use of edifying…”
? Gracious – “…that it may minister grace to the hearers.”
• Do you want to strengthen your relationships when you go through problems? Take a lesson from Jesus and maintain open communication.