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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of October 8, 2012

Have you learned to take a long-term look at your short-term problems?

Whenever something frustrating happens, don't immediately become upset. Instead, ask yourself if this problem is really worth getting aggravated over: is this a five minute problem, a five hour problem, a five month problem, or a five year problem?

For example, if you can't find where around your house you left your car keys, don't let that steal your love, joy, peace, or patience. Being five minutes late to most things is not worth losing your joy. Similarly, if you're stuck in a traffic jam, don't let that ruin your Fruit of the Spirit. It's not worth getting upset and uptight about a ten minute delay on your way to work. Indeed, ten minutes is nothing compared to all of eternity.

Also, remember that God may be using your short-term problem for a long-term purpose. That's why James 1:2-4 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God will work through your current trials and difficulties in order to produce lasting benefits such as faith, perseverance, and spiritual maturity. That's why it's important to take a long-term look at your short-term problems.

We want to be spiritually grown, but we don't like growing because growing hurts.

Growing can be painful. For example, some children have "growing pains" because of their rapid growth.

This can also be true spiritually. Specifically, God may stretch you by putting uncomfortable circumstances in your life. Why? He uses the hard times to stretch your faith, your patience, and your love. This stretching is what causes growth: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

In other words, God uses the difficult circumstances in your life to cause you to grow closer to Him. If you look back over your life, you'll probably notice that the times you grew the most spiritually were often the times that were the most difficult.

If, however, you fight against the hard circumstances in your life, then you will never fully grow up. So, instead of fighting against life, take the advice of James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Decide to press on and go through so that your faith may grow. Go through the hard times in life trusting God, and then you will grow to be "mature and complete, not lacking anything."