Over the years I’ve heard many foolish statements. Here’s one you might have heard–“Becoming a Christian is the solution to all your problems”. Really? Are you sure about that? How did you arrive at that conclusion? A lot of well-intentioned people have given some people bad information and false hopes. And a false hope can be worse than no hope. Contrary to what you might have heard, becoming a Christian isn’t the solution to all your problems. The fact of the matter is that becoming a Christian might be the source, not the solution, for some problems. Isn’t that what Jesus had in mind when He warned His followers that they would be hated, despised, persecuted and killed as a result of following Him. Did He not warn them that they would have to give up certain creature comforts and subject themselves to great hardships, even forsake all, to follow Him?
Any true follower of Christ will tell you that although saved they are forced to face rough roads, difficult days, fierce fights, tough temptations, and scary storms– just like anyone else. That’s life in an imperfect world. There is no way out of it until we get out of it. While we rejoice that the best is yet to come, until then we can expect the worst to happen.
Maybe you’re thinking, “If I just do God’s will I can avoid these trials”. How is that working for you? The truth is, doing God’s will might keep you out of one storm, but it also might put you in a storm. Sometimes we find ourselves in the center of God’s will and a storm at the same time. The important thing is for us to maintain a good attitude. Our best chance of coming out of safe is to maintain a sweet spirit. The best way to make matters worse is to get bitter.
Some of the best people have the worst problems, but those “worst problems” can help make them some of the best people. It is often the case that it is their godly character that causes others to do them harm. Paul was just such a person, and I doubt that you know anyone who is such a gentle soul or has such a sweet spirit. If faithful service could have earned anyone exemption from trials Paul would have surely escaped them, but he didn’t. Neither will you.
As Christians we must practice what we preach. If all things work together for good as the Bible says, why do we complain about them? A bad disposition puts you in a bad position. It not only robs you of peace and joy, it stunts your growth and ruins your testimony. The antidote for our discontent, murmuring and complaining is to realize that all we have is the result of grace and “Giving thanks always for all things”. Think about it!