How to Thank God for Your Sorrows and Problems

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Problems can make us think God is far away or punishing us, but there good reason to thank God for your sorrows and problems.

Keeps us from Sin

The Psalmist asked, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9), and of course, that Word is the very Word of God, the Bible, but includes the Word Himself, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-2). What I’ve discovered from experience is that my problems can show me we’re I’m sinning, and if I’m convicted by reading the Word of God, it is actually guarding my way so I won’t sin. See how that works? If we’re in the Word of God, we won’t sin as much, and if sin as much, we won’t have as many sorrows and problems in our life. The Bible says sin brings death (Rom 6:23), but it also creates problems in this life. When troubles start piling up, and they do for all believers, God may be trying to show us a place in our life we need to examine. Afflictions or sorrows do a lot of good things for us, even though it doesn’t feel like it. This explains why the Psalmist wrote, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).Sorrow, depression

Strengthens our Faith

God’s love is evident in sending us into the storms of life. They might be “course corrections” because we’re headed for a waterfall. When the disciples panicked in the storm, Jesus slept in the stern. Now did they really believe God was going to let them drown after calling them and also let Jesus sink in the storm? God didn’t take them out of that storm, even though Jesus was in the boat, but Jesus was with them in that storm. We know at least of two circumstances where Jesus sent the disciples off in a boat, knowing full well that they were heading into a fierce storm. He was teaching them to trust Him and strengthen their faith. Peter walked on water for a time, but only when He took his eyes off of Jesus and onto the wind and the waves did he begin to sink. His faith needed strengthening and that’s what these events did. They made them trust Jesus more than before, and in doing so, they trusted His plans for them. They were learning about how they can trust the sovereignty of God. If you’ve been through some pretty bad scraps in life and came out alive, I venture to say that your faith is probably stronger because of it. That’s because a faith that’s not been tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.

Make us Prayer Warriors

No one (including me) seems to pray as much when things are going smoothly. It seems when things are going good, we tend for forget God and forget to pray to God. It was just like ancient Israel who took God for granted. I know I’m guilty of this, but when troubles come, suddenly we become “prayer warriors.” And that’s what God wants in the first place. It’s like this. God wants us to humble ourselves, but if we won’t humble ourselves, He’ll do it for us, and you can guess which way is more painful. Troubles can drive us to our knees and compel us to spend much more time in prayer than we did before, and that’s always a good thing my friend. The outcome is, we’re spending more time with God. We’re likely more into His Word too, and we’re seeking His fellowship more than usual, so let your troubles drive you to God and let Him solve the problems you can’t. That’s how He receives glory, and that matters to God (Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 42:8), and it should matter to us (1 Cor 4:7).

Make us Rely on God

When we’ve done all we can do, now we can see all that only God can do. I used to think, “What am I going to do?” but now think, “God, I’ve done all I can. I can’t wait to see what You’re going to do.” That’s living out Romans 8:28, where we can truly say in faith that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” If you live your life knowing that even evil things can work for the good (Gen 50:20; John 3:16), then you’ll see your problems from a different perspective. It’ll take the edge off of things, and besides, you and I know that this is not our home. We’ve got an infinitely better place to go to, and there’s no need to get worked up over things that will not pass through the fire.


Did you notice that in most of this article I said “we,” “us,” or “our?” I did this intentionally because I’ve been through the sausage grinder a few times and came out all the better for it. I admit it didn’t feel good at the time, but after a length of time, I saw it was best for me. Of course God knew all along what I had to learn the hard way, but I thank God that His loving discipline came (Psalm 94:12; Prov 3:12; Heb 12:4-11), or I would have went astray. It is just as the Psalmist said, for I am no better than he, nor he any better than me. I’ve thrown myself under the bus quite often, but I tell the congregation, “Come on…be honest…there’s lots of room under the bus for you too.” I am in just as much need of God’s grace as anyone, but thank God He extends it to me (and to you too, right?).  We are to thank God for all things (1 Thess 5:18) because all things are for our ultimate best, whether we see that or not.  I pray you have been brought to repentance and faith in Christ (Mark 1:15), for if not, your troubles are only beginning (Rev 20:12-15), and all things work out for the worst for those who do not love God.

Here is some related reading for you: 21 Inspirational Christian Quotes for Difficult Times

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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