By Bindu Adai-Mathew
Thankfulness. This Thanksgiving we will each gather around our family dining room table and give thanks for God’s blessing. We will thank Him for our family. We will thank Him for our health. We will thank Him for blessings. We will thank Him for our problems.
Say whaaat? Nope, that was not a typo. Thank him for our problems? Aren’t we supposed to detest our problems and issues? Typically that is our reaction, isn’t it? It definitely is mine. As soon as I face an issue, I shift to the “woe is me” mentality. The victim. The persecuted.
Often I get discouraged with life because after one problem seems to be over or overcome, another problem seems to take its place. When will I get a break, Lord? Is there something wrong with me? Is life ever going to get easier?
But what if we saw our problems as not just the enemy, the very thing we rally against? But what if we see our problems in life as the means by which we develop a closer walk with God?
Like Paul with his thorn in his flesh, we, too, have thorns in our flesh. Thorns that keep us humble. Thorns that keep us on our knees. Thorns that keep us continually in the throne room, in His presence.
Often when we see our problems in a different light…in a positive light…they often lose their power over us. We are no longer as overwhelmed, exhausted, defeated by our problems…or their continual presence in our lives.
Instead, we have to see them as necessary. Like muscle is built with the resistance of weight, so is our faith built with the presence of our problems. Each life issue we face exercises different muscles. Sometimes it’s our patience that gets built. Sometimes it’s our forgiveness. Often times it’s our trust muscles.
Challenge: Think of a problem you are struggling with today. How is it helping you exercise your spiritual muscles? How can you view your struggle differently so that you no longer see it solely in a negative light? What “good” can you see coming out of this problem? How has it strengthened your character and your resolve?
Remember that God promises not to test us beyond what we can endure. And He promises us that everything in our lives can be used for our good…even our problems.