Currently we’re in a message series called “Growing In Life’s Journey.” God wants you to grow in every dimension of your life, growth involves change. Growth and change are good things that will make your life better. However, we tend to resist change. We don’t want to change, we just want our circumstances to change. God doesn’t work that way. He’s more interested in changing you than changing your circumstances.
The other day one of my children was preparing something for us to eat. They asked Carol if she had any more garlic. She said no, but she thought we had enough. Our child said she need more so Carol checked what she was doing. The recipe had called for one teaspoon of garlic as seasoning but our child had interpreted it as one cup of garlic. That was just a bit too much, so the dish was ruined. We could have prayed that God would remove the excess garlic from the dish but I doubt if He would have granted our request. The answer was not in getting God to change our trouble but in teaching our children to grow in their understanding of measurements. Too often people pray for God to remove the garlic or troubles in their life when God wants to teach them and change them through the trouble.
Today my message is entitled “Don’t Waste Your Troubles.” My title assumes you are going to have troubles in your life, everybody does. Sometimes you go through a period where everything is easy sailing but don’t get complacent, because eventually you will encounter storms. Storms or troubles are meant to make you stronger.NIV 1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
Trials and troubles are part of God’s plan for your life. God doesn’t cause them but He allows them to come into our lives. Most people just want to get through the troubles or storms, but God has a purpose in everything that He allows into your life. Troubles are meant to bring about change in your life, they are the pressures that God uses to shape us. Troubles are meant to draw you closer to God, to help you to depend on Him more than on yourself. Troubles are meant to teach you lessons from God and to help you grow. None of this happens automatically.
My title “Don’t Waste Your Troubles” also assumes that you can waste your troubles. You can go through all kinds of troubles and not change, not grow, not learn anything. That’s a wasted trouble. So how can you make the most of the troubles that you face in your life?
To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 30, 2006 message entitled Don’t Waste Your Troubles