What do you do when something bad happens?
For me, I’ve found the secret of conquering problems. It’s found in one of my favourite verses in the Bible – “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28)
If you believe in the above verse, then you’ll tell yourself that when something bad happens to you, don’t be disturbed, because it’s not the end of the story. There’s another chapter coming up and it has a good (and happy) ending. God is writing the story of your life and He has promised us that it will end on a positive note. God encourages us by saying to us – “for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God guarantees that when you face adversity, you’ll be victorious! He will turn your setback into a comeback. The Bible is full of stories of how God worked good out of negative circumstances.
For example, Paul was put in prison – definitely an unpleasant situation. But instead of being frightened and happy, Paul was full of joy. In Philippians, Paul tells us that because he is in prison, more people have been encouraged to preach the gospel because of it, thus God was working good out of his prison stay. Paul writes:
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
The early Christians faced many problems and were widely persecuted. Yet God used the persecution for good. When non-believers saw Christians being willing to suffer for their faith – even willing to die for their faith by becoming martyrs – that became a powerful testimony for their beliefs. And for the Christians who were slain, that was not the end for them. God promised them a heavenly reward for sacrificing their life, thus turning the situation to one of ultimate good. As James writes:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
The ultimate example of God working good out of tragedy is found in the cross. Jesus was brutally tortured and killed but the grave couldn’t hold him. On the third day, God resurrected Him, turning his death on Friday into one of triumphal resurrection on Sunday. God used Jesus’ death on the cross for a mind-blowing good – the forgiveness of the sins of any who would believe in Jesus.
Why do we face obstacles and problems? Oftentimes God uses obstacles to train us to be patient and persevering. As James writes,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So instead of being afraid of problems, dreading problems, James tells us to welcome difficulties with joy! We are told to see problems as a way to build up our perseverance and endurance.
So what’s the secret of defeating problems? It comes in having faith and trust in God to work for our good, in using problems for our advantage. It comes from not trying to run away from problems, but welcoming them with joy and tackling the problems head on because we know that God is using the problems to build our stamina. When we face failure, we do not give up, but keep pressing on until God’s grace grants us the victory!
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