Summary: Lets look at 4 specific blessings that come into our lives through our problems. For as we see how God has used problems in the past to bring about great blessings, it will help us in the problems we face today. (PowerPoints available - #177)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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ILL. Earle Dickson was the cotton buyer for the Johnson & Johnson Co. back in the 1920's. So he was out on the road quite a bit, & he worried about the welfare of his wife while he was away. You see, Josephine was very accident prone. It seemed like she was either cutting or burning herself almost every day.
When Earle was home, he would take the dressings & rolls of surgical tape that his company made & carefully bandage her wounds. But when he was out on the road he worried about her.
You see, with the 3-inch wide rolls of surgical tape & large bandages available in the 1920's, two hands were required to apply them properly. And he was sure that Josephine wouldn't be able to do that by herself.
One day, he had an idea. He cut part of a 3-inch wide roll of surgical tape into narrow strips & laid them on a kitchen counter, sticky side up. Then he put some gauze in the middle of each one, leaving sticky tape showing on both ends.
Now, should Josephine injure herself while he was gone, all she had to do would be to take one of those strips & apply it to her hand or arm herself.
Earle's idea worked so well that he began to leave these self-applying bandages every time he left town. Some time later, at a party, Josephine mentioned Earle's idea to the company president, James Johnson.
Johnson liked the idea, & in 1924 when he added Band Aids to their product line, their company's sales increased by 50%. And ever since then, Band Aids have been one of Johnson & Johnson's major products.
Many of the inventions that have simplified & eased our lives today would never have been invented if there had not first been a problem that needed to be solved. And I'm convinced that the same thing has happened in the spiritual realm, too.
Now of course, we would prefer not to have any problems. But God often uses problems to produce good in the lives of His children. In fact, isn't that what Paul is saying in Romans 8:28-29? Listen to these familiar words:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…"
God wants us to be “conformed to the likeness of” Jesus, to become more & more like Him. And the problems that we face in life are a part of this process.
PROP. So lets look at 4 specific blessings that come into our lives through our problems. For as we see how God has used problems in the past to bring about great blessings, it will help us in the problems we face today.
I. GOD USES PROBLEMS TO DIRECT US.
First of all, sometimes God uses problems to direct us. We see this in one of the earliest problems the church faced. It's found in Acts 6:1-7. Listen to vs. 1.
"In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food."