What do you call problems? The word problem is so negative. I like to call them challenges. It gives me permission – if you will – to start seeking a solution as opposed to focusing on the fact that there is a problem.
Although there are challenges that we do not have the answer to right away, I know that Jesus has the answer. Therefore, it is not really an unsolvable problem. It is just unknown to us.
When you focus too much on any challenge, you miss what God is trying to do. Granted we may not always be able to see it, but often times we can see it or a part of it.
When we get busy with a challenge, we tend to have a worldly focus. When we put our eyes on Jesus and seek to understand the blessing, we have a spiritual focus.
Worldly challenges have spiritual consequences. Consequences come from how we handle the challenge. If at no other time, we may run to God, or we may run from God. For some folks, it may be the only time they think of God. As Christians, we know we can attempt to draw closer to God because we know He is there.
How do you handle a challenge? Do you draw closer to God or do you run?
As God permits the challenge or trial to work on you, he shapes you. It’s your opportunity to grow spiritually. With spiritual eyes, even being chastened is a blessing because it’s for your benefit. The word “purgeth” may apply to more than trials and chastening, but surely trials and chastening have the ability to bring the shaping and growth that leads to more fruit.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Spending time with God and in His Word and applying it to our life will shape us, but how often do we wait until the trial to take the time to draw closer, to read our Bibles, and to apply His Word?
Do you run to God? Do you see the opportunity to grow? Instead of looking at a challenge as a bad thing, look at it as a blessing from God sent to draw you closer, improve your relationship with Him, and prepare you for service. Remember, purging brings forth fruit.