By Alex Anderson – Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church –
You cannot go through life without thinking at some point that the things that happen in your life with all its twists and turns are just some random, cosmic, roll of the dice. If good things come, then the moon and the stars must have aligned just right and if bad things happen then obviously the gods are angry and out of control…again. There’s no plan. You are only biding your time here on spaceship earth. All you got is some vague cosmic hope that things will go well. I mean come on…I even had those thoughts many years ago.
But there is something terribly wrong with this thinking. Instead of some cosmic roll of the dice, as a Christ-follower, you have someone far greater working on your behalf. You have a God who wants to be involved in your life right down to the numbering of the very hairs on your noggin. As a matter of fact it even says so in the Bible in Luke 12:7 (NIV):
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid…”
The real question is, are you bear-hugging this truth or just cuddling it as some mumbo-jumbo? Is it “the gods must be angry” or does The God, I mean the real one in the Bible, have your back? It can mean the difference between resting and stressing about the crazy stuff of your life. Napoleon Hill wrote:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
Now that dog will hunt…just ask Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison or Nelson Mandela, I mean if Lincoln and Edison were still alive. But if you could, these great men would share how they turned horrible situations into amazing opportunities that literally changed millions of lives, not to mention their own. There really is a seed in the midst of the Hell you could be facing right now…though sometimes it is buried and needs to be found.
A simple acrostic has helped me in the middle of these mind-numbing times so I would like to share it with you. Hopefully with a little thought and prayer it will help you turn some lemons into lemonade.
P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. can be one of the best things that can happen to you.
Predictors, they have the ability to predict what you are going to be, “unless you change it.” Sometimes we pray prayers that God will never answer. God change me. That is not God’s job. He is going to work with you and let you change…you.
Reminders, they teach us what we need and that we need God and others. They are reminders to ask God and others for guidance and help.
Problems also create Opportunities. They allow great solutions to arise. Have you ever heard of WD40? It is a spray you put on stuff. Do you know why it is called WD40? Well in 1953, a small company in San Diego called Rocket Chemical Company tried to create rust prevention solvents for the aerospace industry. It took 40 long hard stabs at the formula before they got it right. The original secret formula for WD40, which stands for water displacement, is still in use today.
Blessings, they allow us to grow more. Problems can help bring clarity to our lives and bring to light decisions we need to make. Have you ever gone through something and later on you look back and went, “You know that was miserable, but I became a better person.” They don’t FEEL like it, but they can be blessings in disguise.
Alex Anderson is a Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church, Bradenton, Florida.
To read other life-giving articles by Pastor Alex, go to http://belifegiving.blogspot.com/
They teach us Lessons…if we let them. I don’t like going through the same pain twice and I bet you don’t either. So I sit down and think about it. Write some stuff down. I ask questions. The more I do, the more I learn.
Problems are Everywhere. Sometimes I can think I’m the only one going through a problem. The truth is…I’m not that special and neither are you. There is nothing new under the sun.
Problems give us Messages about our lives. Think about that for a minute. What is this situation really saying to you? What is the question behind the question?” God loves you. Ask Him what He thinks.
Solvable, there is always a way out. Romans 8:28 states, “All things work together for the good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.” Do you love God and are you working on your purpose or His for your life? It can make all the difference.
Now you have a real decision to make…say yes to the comic mess or yes to your God who created you in love and wants to help you finish your life with hope. And by the way, find a good church and start going. It’s one place I know God hangs out.
And please remember there’s people everywhere…so, Be Life-Giving!