Monday, 23 January 2012

Fix My Problems Lord

I’m a huge fan of Dr. Bob Snyder’s Lessons Learned on the Journey, in part because of his willingness to be transparent. He recently sent out the following self exhortation which obviously struck a little too close to home.

As I have prayed regarding this New Year, I realize that I have been asking God to solve my problems, heal my medical issues and fix brokenness in my life - not a wrong prayer but a misguided one. What is shaping my thoughts and prayers? My desires or God's desires?

As I read scripture, another perspective emerges. For some in the early church, problems were a privilege and opportunity to demonstrate their dependence on God. Several themes emerge:

Life is hard. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22 NIV)

God's primary concern is to glorify Himself and to mold me into His image. From an eternal perspective, ...our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)

God is fulfilling eternal purposes in the midst of my problems. In fact, problems may be His intended method. ...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3,4 NIV)

I’m certain that there are a number of individuals who, like Bob, prayed that God would solve their problems. More specifically they prayed that God would heal their marriages.

Marriage can be hard but often we make it much harder than God ever intended it to be. And just as childbirth can be painful and produce great joy so too can a marriage.

Marriage should glorify God after all it is to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship to His bride the church. God absolutely uses our marriage partner as part of His plan for our sanctification.

Marriage can present problems that will be used by God to contribute to one’s growth. God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness but don’t think for a moment that a God centered marriage can’t be filled with incredible happiness.

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