Problems In Life

I can’t recall the last time I heard preachers or teachers explain,  why is there suffering? Why do “good” people have problems? Why do we suffer from heartaches? You probably have read or heard where Paul says he glories in tribulation. Did you ever ask, how can someone glory in heartaches, in sickness, in adversity, in losses? Could you glory in those things?

I am not going to list all my troubles but many will confirm, it seems like I have had more tribulations in life than most people. I choose not to focus on my tribulations or afflictions but focus on God and his word. But I could not understand how tribulations and affliction could make someone glory. All I knew is just stick with the Lord, don’t quit no matter what,  watch my mouth and what I say to God and others,  and God will work things out. I didn’t need to know the “why”. I guess you could say I looked at problems in life, tribulation and affliction as part of life, not an attack caused by something I do. Why someone or something attacks me was not as important as stand fast with the Lord. God is in control and I am his child.

The Lord does fight our battles and I could tell you several instances where people have come against me to hurt me, truly. I have seen God kill them, literally. One suddenly got brain cancer and another suddenly had intestinal problems that were fatal. When people would try to hurt me I would pray and turn them over to the Lord. And if you know anything about how God defends the fatherless, you understand. (A great study, the fatherless, be careful how you treat the fatherless) When a pastor came against me and tried to harm me my son quickly said to me, please, do not turn them over to the Lord, he will kill them. My son was paying attention.

For years I could not figure out why I was having so many problems with life, in life. And just when things appeared to be going smooth – BOOM – something else would go wrong. I knew the verses, like Romans 5:3-5 KJV  “And not only so , but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
[4] And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
[5] And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

So I did not pray for patience because I knew if I did, then tribulation was coming my way to work patience in me. I still do not pray for patience but God has taught me how to glory in tribulation and affliction. You see, tribulation is defined as life’s distresses. And affliction is defined as a state of being in distress, pain or grief.

Affliction is continual pain of body or mind, as in sickness or losses, calamity, adversity, or persecution. Psalm 34:19 KJV  “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

So when Paul was teaching us about troubles, persecutions and being cast down in 2 Corinthians 4:10,11. Paul repeated himself in these two verses. But look at 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 KJV
  “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

And then it all clicked how someone could glory through all the problems. And as some say, some virtues are only seen during afflictions. But afflictions work inside us. You see, if you cut yourself you wash the wound and bandage it and away you go. But when something “cuts” your heart or mind, you can not bandage that.

God looks at the heart. So when trials and tribulations and affictions come to us, God uses those to work inside us. God does not always send us afflictions, or trials and tribulations but God will use them to burn things off the inside ( Romans 8:28).  So when we go through trials and afflictions, we should ask God, what do I need to change? What do I need to learn through this affliction? Or this trial? 2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV ” While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

And God uses tribulations and afflictions to work on our inside, our inner man. And that is why Paul could say, 2 Corinthians 7:4 KJV  “Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.”

Scripture tells us that God sends tribulation to those who trouble us. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 KJV  “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;”

So friends, don’t think it strange when afflictions, trials and tribulation come your way. Look at it like God is going to use this trial, this affliction or this tribulation to work inside me, to help me. And certainly, watch what you say during times of testings. Remember what Job told his wife, you speak as a foolish woman.

With all my tribulations and afflictions,  I must have needed a complete make over on the inside. It took me a long time to “get it”, but now I understand when distresses of life come my way, speak God’s word at my situation and if it does not change, it is not from the devil. God is trying to burn off the dross on the inside so look to what God is trying to do and ask him to show you what he is trying to teach you. Then you too will be able to glory in tribulation because you will know God is working on you as a potter. A wise Master Builder.

God loves you and from the time you were in your mother’s womb, God has taken care of you. God sends his angels to encamp around us. So let God work on the inside too. Psalm 34:7 KJV  “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

Until next time.

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