The word problem means any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. The word failure means the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends. A second definition is the condition of being insufficient or falling short. Another meaning is nonperformance of what is expected or a decline in strength or effectiveness.

This lesson subject may cause some to think. Some people think they don't have any problems. That is a problem within itself !! We did not think in this life of faith that we could have failures! We all wish we didn't fail, but in dealing in reality, there are times when failures occur.

We read in James 1:2-4," My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Teachers need to insist that sin stops being a compulsion, that a liklihood of a continuous victory is clearly before us. When talking about sin we are referring to a conscious sin. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." Hebrews 10:26  We are talking about a willful or known sin. This is a sin that we know whether something is right or wrong.

In another instance, someone falls short. Any sudden failure is no reason to become so discouraged as to want to call it quits. " Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

We read in Romans 3:23 ,"... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

We are talking about a walk. In this walk of faith, people may have brief times where they stumble. This is a walk of faith. In this walk we study and grow in the knowledge of God. We read in III John 1:3," For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth."

"This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. " II John 1:6 And in Romans 8:1," There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. " The only way in which we can walk with these hazards in our path is to keep our eyes focused on Christ Jesus. Should we falter, we need to leave the worldly path. When some walk, they need to use a cane or a walker as aids so they can walk unwaveringly. Christ is always there for us to lean upon. He is our aid.

Christ says in Matthew 11:28," Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

In II Thessalonians 2:16-17 we find," Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work."

Many times when we fear failure, some people think they can hide from God. In the book of Psalms, David acknowledges that we can't hide our sins from God. He prayed, " Hide Your face from my sins. And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."Psalm 51:9-10

In the book of I Samuel we are told of a man who hid himself. This man was King Saul. We read in I Samuel 10:22," Therefore they inquired of the Lord further, ' Has the man come here yet?' And the Lord answered, ' There he is, hidden among the equipment.'"

Nehemiah was a man who faced problems which were the result of Israel's failure. When the wall of Jerusalem had fallen down, Nehemiah wept, he cared.

We read in Nehemiah 1:3-4:"And they said to me, 'The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.' So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. "

Granted, the Christian life is not an easy life. Years ago, there was a popular song entitled I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. In life, we do not live in a rose garden, there are thorns and obstacles scattered along the way. We will encounter trials. These thorns and obstacles represent Satan's darts.

"But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 'II Thessalonians 3:3-5

God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1-2 (NKJV)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.,
Philippians 1:12 (NKJV)

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
I Peter 5:10 (NKJV)

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,... who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
II Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)

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We read in James 1:2-4," My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

We have the Bible through which God tells us how we are to handle our difficult situations. We have the Lord our God to turn to in times of trouble.

When we falter it should make us turn to the Lord God. He will comfort and strengthen us. There will be troubles in life. Knowing what we have abandoned should cause us to work more fervently for Him. This can cause us to realize what a blessing and comfort we have in the Lord.

And finally we read in Philippians 4:13," I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Discussion and study questions:
(1) What good can come out of problems or failures?
(2)Why should I "count it all joy" when problems occur?
(3) When life tries me, and it is too much for me, where am I to go?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence