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Most would say that it is happiness. Well, what is happiness? While there are many different answers to this question, you probably are thinking that happiness is the absence of problems. Believe or not, God wants us to be on a road toward fulfillment more than happiness. Most of the time the road to fulfillment is riddled with problems and pain, but if we stay focused on what God has designed for us, we will find happiness. The world has lied to us. The world tells us to either run from problems or to pawn them off to someone else. It tells us to deny our problems, or if all else fails, to drug ourselves into the idea of entitlement and escapism.


Think of Israel and the Promised Land. God told the Israelites repeatedly that He was going to give them the land of Canaan. He also told them repeatedly that they must go in and take possession of it. But there was a problem: there were giants in the land! In order for them to acquire the promise, they would have to endure war and hardship… OUCH! Now that was a big problem.


When God gives us a problem, it means we have a “legal right” to solve the problem. That is why it is always important to make sure you are only going after the problems that God has given you a legal right to pursue. According to the Bible, Israel was forbidden from taking Egypt, Moab, or Edom. The people in these lands were as much an adversary to Israel as the Canaanites, but God did not give Israel the right to invade these countries. The Israelites were to stay focused on possessing the Promised Land (Canaan). That was the God-designed problem.

God gives each of us problems in our life that He knows will lead us to fulfillment. We may all have different God-designed problems, but the end game is to cross over into our Promised Land. In order to do this we must first confront our giants that are there to stop us from receiving our birthright. Don’t be distracted by enemies (problems) that God hasn’t given you. Stay in tune with God’s voice. It is more important to hear from God than anyone else. If fact, heeding the voice of anyone other than God can end up derailing you. Stay focused on the problem He gives you. 

When God gives us a particular problem to solve, He is also promising to provide us the support we need to achieve victory. Rarely do we have the abilities to achieve all that God calls us to do in our own strength. God invests deeply in helping us solve problems that He has called us and designed us to solve. Many times He withholds His power long enough for us to develop our abilities but, when we have achieved the desired growth, God provides His power to complete the task. Sure, He could have done that at the inception of the problem, but it would have robbed us of the growth experience. Will it be painful? It is rare that any true growth is not accompanied by some pain. Do like I tell my sons to do when they seem to have an unsurmountable problem: embrace your pain, knowing that every mountain that God gives us can be climbed. Don’t waste time going around the same mountain or problem over and over again in your life. Embrace the problem God has given you, overcome the giants, climb the mountain, and possess your birthright. You were designed for fulfillment, but the process of fulfillment is not always a “happy” path. If you will embrace the problem that God assigns you, He will release the grace to make it possible for you to solve the problem. Somewhere down the road is a treasure that God wants us to have that will benefit the Kingdom. In order to possess that treasure, we will have to first embrace our Father-filtered problems.

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