Do the problems you face in life make you stronger? Or, do they make you discouraged, hopeless or angry? God doesn’t allow problems in our lives simply to be roadblocks or speed bumps. He loves us. So, why would he do that?
Take for example a four year old boy who so desperately wants to ride a bicycle so that he could play with the other kids on the street but his parents tell him no. After many tantrums, his parents may finally buy him this bike although he has no previous experience. Upon riding his new bike this little boy would be so happy but lacking experience, he would fall, sustaining some cuts and bruises. It’s likely that he would cry, causing his parents to lock the bike away- much to his disappointment. He’s only four years old and he does not understand the dangers he faces. But as time progresses, he’ll started learning with a tricycle, graduating to training wheels and eventually to a bicycle! By the age of eight he can ride his own bike without any trouble.
In life, many things may happen to you on a day-to-day basis that you may not understand, just like the little boy. He was too young to understand all that involved him getting what he wanted and his parents taught him a lesson by keeping the bike away from him until he was ready. Similarly, there may be things which have not worked out in your favour regardless of how many times you have tried, much to your frustration. Instead of blaming God and being angry or sad about the situation, learn from it and move on to your next challenge. These may be stepping stones for you towards something better.
You may not know exactly where your life is going and what God has in store for you may come next week, next year or in next ten years! Sarah had to wait ninety years before she had her first son. God promised her in Genesis 17:16, “I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her”.
Later on in Genesis 21:6-7, we see this promise fulfilled when her son Isaac was born:
“God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in this old age”.
This account shows that there is no set time in which God will manifest every plan he has for you!
God specifically places obstacles in your way so that you can learn and grow. Consider also the hardships faced by Joseph. Sold into slavery by his brothers at a young age, God elevated Joseph from the depths of prison in Egypt to being second in command after Pharaoh in the whole of Egypt. Genesis 39:21 says “… But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden”.
From this we can see that even at our lowest point God is with us, strengthening us for greater things to come. While this is wonderful knowledge, such wondrous works cannot take form without faith. James 2:26 tells us “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead”. Again, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 we see, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.
You may be in your deepest pit at this moment, but God told us in his word numerous times that he is forever with us. Psalm 139:8-10 says, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast”.
God will not bring us to a problem and abandon us. Have faith. Use these setbacks as hurdles to lift you higher and to thrust you into a new level. Just like the boy and his bike, know that someday soon, you too will be able to ride.
HughWooding Law School