If you feel your present problems are the result of having strayed from your shepherd’s side or having disobeyed your heavenly Father, you don’t need to feel condemned. Four simple steps will set things straight:
God’s Word promises: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”1 He is only interested in helping us learn and improve. His motive is to make us wiser and more dependent on Him.
Eventually we wise up and learn that our Father knows best and that we’ll be happiest if we obey Him and not rebel or run away when He needs to teach us something.
God uses troubles to teach us to do better, but that’s not the only reason for troubles. Every time you suffer hard times, heartbreak, sickness, or injury, you don’t need to worry that you’ve done something terribly wrong that has displeased God. There are many other reasons for tests and trials. If He is trying to get us to change in some area of our lives, we usually know what that is pretty quick. In fact, long before it gets to that point He has usually been trying to give us warning nudges and we just haven’t heeded them.
If you don’t know why you’re having a certain problem, this is the time to ask Him—not in a resentful, doubting manner, but in a humble, trusting one. Tell Him your worries, your fears, ask your questions; then be quiet and listen. The voice of His Spirit will speak to your heart, and He will show you why He has allowed these things.2 He may not tell you immediately or help you understand fully, and that in itself can be a test of faith. It tests you to see how much you will love and trust the Lord and thank Him for all He sends your way, which you know will eventually work together for good, even if He doesn’t explain the reasons for some of it.
But whether He tells you now or not, Jesus will always encourage and uplift your spirit when you come to Him. He will mend your broken heart, if you give Him all the pieces.
In sickness let me not so much say, “Am I getting better of my pain?” as, “Am I getting better for it?”—William Shakespeare
Our troubles become double trouble when we misinterpret them. The weight of a thing is determined by our perception of it. If we look at our problems as punishment from an offended God, they enslave us. But if we consider them the Lord’s cleaning and polishing agents to beautify His jewels—us—we can patiently wait for the happy ending!—Adapted from J.H.Jowett
The vain regrets of yesterday
Have vanished through God’s pardoning grace;
The guilty fear has passed away,
And joy has come to take its place.
When through life’s darkened maze I go
And troubles overwhelm my soul,
Oh, grant me, Lord, the grace to know
That You are always in control.
The pain of facing up to truth
And saying, “I am wrong,”
Is soothed by Christ’s redeeming love,
Which fills the heart with song.
1. 1 John 1:9; Psalm 103:12-14 NIV
2. If you would like to know more about hearing from heaven and how to receive personal words of strength, encouragement, and instruction directly from Jesus Himself, the book Hearing from Heaven in the Get Activated series will be a great help to you.