My boss told me something the other day.
We often think of problems as something abnormal. We think of them as a hindrance, something wrong, and out of place.
But, problems are always going to be there.
If we think about our lives I think we’ll find this to be true. We so often push through one problem to find another one staring us in the face right after. We think that if we just get through the next we will finally make it to the problem free life. Problems will always be there.
What if problems aren’t hindrances but highways? What if problems are opportunities for faith, growth, and true colors to come streaming out? What if we truly grow the most when we have them?
Humans seem to thrive on breakthrough. Why do people do puzzles in the first place?
It is much more powerful to overcome problems than live a life enslaved to avoiding them. Staying steadfast and faithful through the thick and thin is one of the new possibilities that came at the cross. I think that this is the power of the gospel. God didn’t purchase a life free of problems, he made it possible for us to stand in the face of them unfazed. I’m not saying God brings problems upon us but I think he always gives us a more powerful response than to simply ask that they leave. You don’t get an unstoppable church if our sole desire is to be rid of problems. You have one when problems don’t steal our joy. I think we often think the gospel is about being saved from suffering and hardship. I think he goes deeper to the root of it all. Jesus did not fear suffering and hardship. Because of him, we do not have to fear either. It wouldn’t be victory if we had to avoid things to be okay. It is victory because whatever happens to us we are more than okay.
There will always be an opportunity for faith, hope, and love in each problem we face. We will always gain.
As I face each day and the circumstances it entails, I get to ask myself, what is the opportunity for growth in this? Can this grow my faith? Can this encourage me to hope and trust? Can this cause me to grow to love more unconditionally?
When I do this, problems are no longer inconveniences to the good life. They are the very building blocks God uses to make life good. That is the power of the gospel. He can use the worst things for good. It doesn’t mean there isn’t real pain, real suffering, and a need for real justice, but it does mean that there is nothing God cannot use for good. To say otherwise would be to believe in a small God.
I still don’t know the answer to the problem of evil. I do know that I have a big God and I’ve never seen a situation not work out for his good purposes in the end.
I have learned problems are a daily part of life, and now, I’ve learned that joyfully overcoming them is apart of it all too.