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April 16, 2014- 5:10am
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What an Opportunity

What is your reaction when problems or challenges arise in your life? Some would like to think that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that problems just disappear – that the Lord protects us, meets all our needs, and keeps satan from attacking us in any way, shape, or form. Well, that may be true when we are ushered into eternity, but for now, as believers, we are still aliens in a sin-cursed world. So, how do we react to life’s problems?

There seems to be three basic ways that different people respond to heart-ache, bad news, or other seemingly impossible situations. The first is despair – “Why, me?” One might ask, “What did I ever do to deserve this?” This response is typically very selfish. That person’s focus is on himself, so he’s sees every problem in the light of how it affects him personally. He usually falls into self-pity and feels no one understands or cares about what is happening to him. Satan loves this trap. He deceives this person into a feeling of isolation – like he is the only one who has ever been in this situation. This is a difficult and dangerous pit, because it makes one hesitant to reach out to others for help. It is not a good response to the problems of life.

The second response is finding someone to blame. If this person cannot find someone else to hold responsible for the situation, he usually blames the devil. That seemingly relieves him of responsibility, since it then becomes a problem that is out of his control. The wrong in this thinking is glorifying the devil into a position of much more power than he actually has. Satan must be exposed, not glorified (That’s why I refuse to capitalize the “s” or “d” when writing about satan or the devil). His only real power is what we give him by believing his lies. So, a person who has transferred the blame for his problem to satan, then will not do anything to help resolve the situation. He becomes convinced that the only answer is for someone else to resolve the problem, or for God to completely take over and act in a supernatural way. Although, God does this from time to time, he does not see it happen often enough to have faith that it will happen to him. This is also not a good response to the problems of life.

The third, and only right response, is to realize the sovereignty and plan of God in every problem we face. If we can realize that life does not revolve all around us, and if, according to the first few chapters of the book of Job, satan cannot do anything that God does not allow, then we will be free to recognize that God has a purpose in allowing this difficulty to come our way. It may sound a bit overly optimistic, but then our response to every problem will be, “What an opportunity!” Why not look at problems as they really are? “What an opportunity to pray and talk to the Lord! What an opportunity to get closer to God! What an opportunity to learn more about the Lord! What an opportunity to see the miraculous power of God released right in my own life!!”

From Dean St. Cyr with Upper Room Ministries

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