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We typically see problems as things to be avoided or simply endured. And in either case the underlying assumption is that there’s something inherently bad or wrong in our life if we have to face them. But instead of seeing problems as merely problematic, we can also learn to see them as possibilities. What is made possible due to the hardships we must endure?

For instance, setbacks at work, physical ailments, relational strain, and certainly the death of a loved one all introduce unwelcomed pain and suffering into our story. And we do well to grieve and lament these experiences. They matter and we disrespect them and the heart God has given us when we pretend otherwise.

But all too often our heartaches are just seen as difficulties to be endured. They wound the soul but leave us otherwise unchanged. The wise approach is learning to consider what is made possible as a result of what we’ve endured. Our setbacks might actually be a setup for future glory in God’s kingdom.

For example, we might be forced to learn a new skill, pushed toward new and meaningful relationships, or simply be given the space to see from a new perspective. And without a doubt this is another opportunity to be transformed into the image of Christ.

Whatever it looks like, we can face the problems and difficulties of this life with hope – knowing that they’re ripe with the possibilities of ushering in more of God’s goodness.

Of course, this doesn’t minimize the pain we must still endure. But it does give us vision and hope, and an opportunity to put our faith into action. It’s an act of trust – confident in God’s promises that tears and sorrows will not have the final word in our story. 

In the end, grieve and humbly endure the many difficulties of this life. And exercise your faith by also considering what God is making possible through the hardships that come your way.

Photo by Sweet Life on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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