This weekend's Chase the Lion series took us to look at how to 'reframe our problems'. Here is where I jumped into it...
James 1:2-4 (nlt) --- Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Problems are opportunities from God. Plain and simple. How we look at the situations in our lives will make a huge difference. We have watched people, even ourselves, get wrapped up and directed in the wrong direction by our troubles. Most people try to avoid problems or try to get out of them all the while God is seeking to strengthen, build and use those things to make us ready for greater days and awesome opportunities.
Here are some thoughts from our small group book and study for the weekend:
"See yourself the way God sees you, ... (you won't have) identity issues...You also need to see people through the frame of Scripture. When you do, you begin to see them as invaluable and irreplaceable. You begin to love people when they least expect it and least deserve it." (page 64)
"There are some life lessons and character traits that can only be learned and developed via adversity. In fact, adversity expands our capacity to serve God." (page 66)
"Worship is another way to reframe our problems...worshipers can always find something to praise God about...one of the purest forms of worship is praising God even when you don't feel like it because it shows God that your worship isn't based on circumstances...a worshiper always finds a reason to praise because they're always looking for what is praiseworthy." (page 67 & 70)
"(God) He cares more about your long term potential than your short term comfort. If you let Him, He'll turn past adversities into future opportunities." (page 72)
Perspective makes a huge difference in how we live life. I told our church folks that we have to choose before the problem hits how we are going to deal with the problem. We have to take thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and let God work in our lives.
During my reading of Proverbs 11 this morning, God gave me some insight into dealing with our circumstances (and I close with these):
2 ... but with humility comes wisdom.
4 ... but right living can save you from death.
6 The godliness of good people rescues them ...
8 The godly are rescued from trouble ...
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
19 Godly people find life...
20 The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity.