Life is a series of problems. Problems come one after the other. Problems come to us like unwanted guests. A way to live a life wisely is to resolve problems well. I have encountered numerous problems in my life. Some problems made me frustrated and put me in despair. Some problems made me feel chaotic and some made me feel sad. However, not all problems were bad. There were times when difficult problems caused me to be better.
I once hated having problems. When a problem came, I tried to flee from it. However, fleeing from the problem didn’t bring resolution. Fleeing from the problem made the problem grow bigger. The more I ignored and refused to confront the problem, I saw myself becoming more stressed. Now when a problem comes, I try not to flee from facing it. What’s interesting is that when I try to flee from the problem, it seems like a giant, but when I face and confront the problem, it seems much smaller. When the problem seems bigger than the God we believe, then we are overpowered by it. In contrast, when we face the problem together with God, the problem becomes a lot smaller. There are no problems God cannot solve.
While I was studying the Bible, I realize that all miracles in the Bible came about because of a problem. Of course, not all problems create miracles. Just as we experience, we could face hardship by not dealing with a problem well. Also, when a problem is not resolved in the appropriate time, the problem can torment us continuously. However, when we bring the problem to God and seek God’s help, it becomes an ingredient for creating a miracle. When we come before God because of our problems, we encounter the Almighty God. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord (Gen. 18:14).
According to the Bible, the size of a problem determined the size of a miracle. Small problems create small miracles and great problems create great miracles. The seed of a miracle is contained in the problem. The seed of a solution is contained in the problem. When God performs a miracle, He does it through a problem. If so, then where there is no problem there is no miracle. The Israelites encountered numerous problems in the wilderness. Whenever the Israelites cried out to God because of the problem they faced, God turned the problem into miracle. When the Israelites cried out to God in front of the Red Sea as the Egyptian army was chasing them, God made a way through the Red Sea. When they cried out to God because of the bitter water in Marah, He changed the bitter water in Marah into sweet water. When they cried out to God from hunger, God sent manna from heaven.
When a problem comes, do not fear it. Face the problem. Bring the problem before God and seek God’s help. When we pray, God gives us the wisdom and power to resolve the problem. God sends people who have knowledge, information, and resources that could help us to resolve the problem. The most amazing truth about it is that the solution for a problem is usually near us. Some problems are resolved a little slowly. But it’s through such a process that God allows us to grow more and to be changed. I have experienced praying and experiencing God more because of problems. I have experienced becoming wiser and more flexible because of problems.
I have learned the secret of living together with problems. I once used to defer all happiness when I encounter a problem until the problem is resolved. I realize now that it is not wise to defer happiness. Problems don’t only exist to be resolved but also to be embraced. It is wise to think of a problem as a friend and a teacher, because a problem is a disguised blessing that makes us wiser and more mature. If any of you are in pain because of a problem, please do not be in despair. No one is without problems. If you want to meet someone without a problem, then you should visit a cemetery. To live is to have problems, and to have problems is to know that God’s miracle is waiting for us.
I am writing this letter from Guatemala with a short-term mission team. Our church is currently serving the children in a rural and impoverished area in the northern part of Guatemala through Compassion International. Here, we are witnessing how Compassion International is wonderfully serving the little children in Guatemala. I sincerely thank you for taking part in such a precious ministry.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.