Trouble is everywhere.
When you get a new car, suddenly you notice every other single color
of that car driving around in town, right? Or maybe you are insecure about a new hairstyle, or are wearing something different than usual - immediately your attention is drawn to anyone who made a similar choice.
This is what happened to me when my sister suffered a traumatic brain injury. People who were going through difficult times seemed to come out of nowhere! This man has cancer. That girl had a brother die overseas. This mother lost her husband and then her son, and now she's bankrupt, too. Truly, there is no trial but such as is common to man.
What will set us apart from the average person is how we choose to handle that trial. We are not to seek trouble, but when (yes, when) it comes, we are not to flee it, either. Since our view on crises should not be all about getting out of them, but rather on the going through them, we discussed this morning in church what are potential benefits to going through a crisis when handled with godly stewardship.
1. We learn how to depend solely upon the Lord.
2. False securities are identified and removed.
3. We learn how to become a peacemaker.
4. We are able to relate with others who know trouble. Romans 12:15
5. Bad theology will be removed from our lives. (Possibly through trial & error: how not to handle troubles.)
6. We will grow in wisdom.
7. We will often be suddenly surrounded with a multitude of counselors (good and bad; hence an opportunity to exercise discernment - ex. Job)
8. Our priorities will be re-evaluated. Those things that we may have already known to be important, now become important in practice.
9. We will have the opportunity to show and attain mercy. Proverbs 3:3-5
10. We will be better equipped to provide comfort for those who mourn. II Corinthians 1:3-4
11. Our responsibilities will be clarified. Matthew 18:33-35
12. Attention will be drawn to the cross.
13. Troubles will enlighten us to our own offenses. Romans 2:1
14. We will be enabled to esteem others better than ourselves. Phil. 2:3
15. We will be encouraged to fast. Matthew 17:21
16. We will be compelled to pray. Matthew 5:44
17. They will lead us to discover our own hidden faults. Psalm 19:12
18. They will confirm the reality of the spirit world. John 10:10a
19. We will be assured of the nearness of God. Psalm 34:18 (If this were the only benefit, wouldn't it be enough?)
20. Confidence will be strengthened in God to do above all that is asked or thought. Ephesians 3:20
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: