An inspirational book that has made a difference in my life is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I have recommended it numerous times to those who are finding their faith or looking to build a better foundation of faith.
There are 40 parts broken in to five sections of purpose. With so many people I know facing unimaginable obstacles in their lives and the unfathomable pain and grief they are going through, I wanted to focus today on #25, “Transformed by Trouble.”
Warren writes several things I feel are worth mentioning.
“God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.”
“We learn things about God in suffering we can’t learn any other way.”
“You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.”
Read those once again slowly and think about each of them. If you are under attack or are undergoing any suffering or pain in your life, you may struggle a bit in finding truth to these three points. But I’ll tell you this: these truths should begin the process of speaking life into the reality you find yourself in. Keep in mind, your current reality can be either temporary or changed. You decide.
Correspondingly, I’ll add this to each point above:
“God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.” The topic of one of my speeches is titled: “Out of Chaos Comes Character.” With a purpose behind each problem, what is it we are to learn from our hardships? The character we build is derived from the chaos in our lives. We have a choice whether we excel with excellence or decline with defeat.
“We learn things about God in suffering we can’t learn any other way.” When suffering, we are more available to hearing past the normal noise, seeing past the normal tunnel vision, and leaping to a new fountain of faith. Suffering offers opportunities for growth – unique opportunities we may otherwise not experience.
“You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.” When you hit rock bottom, or close to it, sometimes the only thing you got left… is God. The world and everyone you know can abandon you, but God never will. You can abandon God, but it does not work the other way around. Problems and suffering make us regain focus on what is important. Who knows? They just may be the catalyst of regaining a faith lost or a rejected relationship.
As Pastor Warren points out, troubles are a great form of transformation! And they are. When you find yourself going through troubled waters, audit your situation. You have several choices. You can swim with the current, you can fight the current, or you can head for shore. Sometimes, you can just stand up and walk out because your troubles are shallow and easily drain away. Other times, they may be deeper and require someone to throw you a life preserver. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Purchase 12 Jars: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life: here