Discover God's Purpose in Your Problems
Passage: 1 Peter 4:12–13, 1 Peter 4:19
Navigating The New Year:
Discover God’s Purpose In Your Problems:
1 Peter 4:12-13, 19
"God isn't at work producing the circumstances I want. God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants." John Ortberg
(To download and print blank sermon notes to complete while you listen, click HERE.)
God has a purpose that is bigger than my problems!
The key is to learn to ask the right Questions
How God Uses Problems in My Life
- God uses problems to Direct me
“And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:20–21)
“And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1)
Ask: Where is this problem Leading me?
- A new way of thinking
- A new way of approaching a situation
- New people, resources, opportunities
- God uses problems to Inspect me
“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4)
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10)
Ask: What does this problem Reveal about me?
- God uses problems to Correct me
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” (Hebrews 12:7–10)
Too often we are not willing to face the truth about ourselves until we are Forced To!
Ask: What is this problem Teaching me?
- About God
- About Myself
- About Reality
- God uses problems to Perfect me
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3–5)
Ask: How can I Grow from this problem?
The Circumstances you are asking God to change may be the very circumstances God is using to Change You
The real problem is not your problem. The real problem is your Response to the problem.
Regardless of what you are going through right now:
- God Sees the problem
- God Cares about your problem
- God has the Power to change your problem
- God wants to Change you through your problem
God is more interested in my character than my comfort!
The next time you face a problem ask…
- Lord, are you using this problem to direct me? Where is this problem leading me?
- Lord, are you using this problem to inspect me? What does this problem reveal about me?
- Lord, are you using this problem to correct me? What is this problem teaching me?
- Lord, are you using this problem to perfect me? How can I grow from this problem?
Making It Personal
- The greatest problem that any of us has is our separation from God because of our sin. The only solution is the perfect provision of Jesus Christ. Have I opened up my life to Jesus Christ as my only Savior and rightful Lord?
- What has been my pattern in responding to life’s problems? What changes can I make in my response to better align myself with God’s purposes?
- What problem is God currently using in my life? What are the questions I need to be asking about this problem?
- Who can I share these truths with?