Job described the human condition with these words: “Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). This was certainly the situation for Timothy, a young pastor trying to protect the church from persecution and false doctrine. And as a result, he was becoming discouraged and found his passion waning.

Things are no different today, right? Overwhelming troubles can cause us to grow weak and lose our zeal for God, His Word, and prayer. The solution for us today is the same one Paul gave Timothy all those years ago. The apostle reminded his protege that

God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

The path to spiritual revival is found in the very things we are sometimes reluctant to do—praying and reading the Word. When we read Scripture, our mind is renewed with God’s truth, and we draw comfort, strength, and courage from His promises and unfailing love. Through prayer and submission, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to endure afflictions with hope and joy in Christ. So instead of yielding to despair, let God use your troubles to rekindle your spiritual life.

2 Timothy 1:1-9
 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, a beloved son:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,  greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the ]genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 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,

“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering” Philippians 3:10

What is suffering? Elisabeth Elliot describes suffering as

wanting what you don’t have and having what you don’t want.”

That definition pretty well covers all the little and big “troubles” we go through during our lifetime. It could be a broken hairdryer or a disease. We will have problems. Maybe you don’t have any today, but you probably will tomorrow. And – think about it – you could even be someone else’s problem!

Our reactions or responses to these problems are the key to our inner peace.

Recently, a very positive acquaintance told us about deep waters he had gone through. He said a dear friend and author, Philip Keller, had given him the following spiritual principles to meditate on and apply to his life. He said they had made a big difference in his perspective on problems.

Acknowledge – God is my Father – He knows what is best for me, so I must acknowledge He arranges all my affairs.

Accept all that comes to me as His arrangement. In acceptance comes peace.

Approve of what He does and how He does it. Thanking Him for sincerely releases Him to do great things for you (no more controversy).

I encourage you to make a copy of the three steps, keep them in a handy place, review, and apply them to your situation whenever you have a problem. It will change your perspective.

Suffering is not for nothing.

Father, You know we get far too independent if we don’t have problems. So I thank You for problems. Enable us to acknowledge, accept, and approve that You know what is best for us. Amen.