It has been said that the best way to avoid problems in life is to gain wisdom!  However, someone else rightly pointed out that you gain wisdom by encountering problems.

Truth be told, both of those statements are equally true.  Wisdom helps us avoid problems, but experiencing problems allows us to gain wisdom.  This has certainly been true in my life.  My greatest learning experiences have come from some of my greatest struggles.

Understanding this dilemma fully is probably what propelled James, the brother of Jesus, to write these words, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to youJames 1:2-5

I have never been in a prayer meeting when someone prayed that they would encounter a problem; however, most of us have unexpectedly and unwillingly endured the experience of a difficult trial. How you endure your trial often depends on YOU.  I have seen people slam the door on God when difficulties occur, AND I have witnessed God transform individuals for His glory through the challenges of difficult circumstances.

When you look at your next problem see it as a new opportunity.  Use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.  Mold your problem into a chance to empathize and care more about others.  Gain perspective from your difficulties, and learn to laugh and smile more in the good times.

Think about it and have a blessed weekend.

John Mark Caton
SENIOR PASTOR
office: 972.359.7777 x1021
pastor@cottonwoodcreek.org