– Frederick W. Robertson
Sometimes problems are good things because they can bring growth. The situations don’t have to destroy us. We just need to evaluate them, and in the process, we grow. We can’t let situations rule us. We must rule them, but we need God’s help. When you get into a bad situation and it seems impossible to get out, remember that God says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). Also, “know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). For me, that’s a huge relief.
God sends us into different seasons in our lives. Sometimes these are lean times, and other times they are prosperous times. The question is what do we do with what God has given us? Since we are the stewards of that which He has entrusted us, we can do much good for those who are in lean times. Even an offer of buying someone a meal can mean a lot. It might even be giving them something that will not ever be repaid because they’re not able. The fact is, “whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed” (Prov. 19:17), “and if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matt. 10:42).
I’ve handed out hundreds of Bible tracts in my life, and the people who read these are people I’ll probably never see again. I can sow God’s Word, and maybe someone else will come along and water it. A little later, someone else may come along and fertilize it. But we must trust God because only He gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-7). Sowing the Word of God comes with a guarantee: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Unleash the Word and trust God enough to leave the results up to Him.
I live in farming country. They always reap what they sow but much later than they sow. If the farmer sowed the seed and waited a day, a week or a month and saw nothing come up and then gave up, then he’d not make a very good farmer. Farmers know that what they sow will be exactly what they reap, but it doesn’t spring out of the ground right away. The point is what Paul wrote: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8). What you sow is what you’ll reap, either good or bad. Sow good and good will come out of it. Sow generously and reap a great harvest. But sowing to the flesh will reap corruption, and that never ends well.
As Mr. Robertson said, it is not the situation which makes the man, but the man who makes the situation. You have control over the outcome of your situation, if not the situation itself. You can allow bad situations to cause you to grow. You can allow situations to help others. You can allow situations to sow the Word. However, you will always reap what you sow in whatever situation you find yourself.