5 Ways Problems Build Character

“Every problem is a character-building opportunity.”

– Rick Warren

Faith Like Film

Today we have digital cameras and cameras in our phones; but in the “old days,” they used to develop film in a darkroom. They took the “negatives” into the dark; but when they were exposed to a certain amount of low-level light, the negatives became positives. God does that with us too, as our faith is often developed best in the dark; but neither does it stay in the dark.


We can use negatives in life like developing film in a darkroom, and we too can be developed in the dark times of despair. The Earth itself is like a magnet. It has an electromagnetic field that surrounds it, but the negative is drawn to the positive and the positive to the negative. These opposites attract one another. This gives balance to the Earth’s “electrical system.” Without the negatives in our lives, we’d never appreciate the positives as much.

Disappointment as an Appointment

You can feel defeated, or you can take disappointment and make it “His” appointment in your life. Every evil thing that happens to us can be used for God’s good (Genesis 50:20). When people intend to harm you, God makes it good, just as the Apostle Peter wrote that “it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17).

Learning Through Afflictions

Believe it or not, we can actually learn through our afflictions. The psalmist wrote, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Of course, most of us don’t say, “Oh good, here comes another affliction”; but if we understood that afflictions can drive us to His Word so that we too “might learn [His] statutes” and find comfort there, then a lot of good comes from afflictions.

Sharing With Christ

Did you know that you can share something with Christ? I don’t mean share the Gospel–of course, that’s great–but I mean you can share in His sufferings. The Apostle Paul deeply desired “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). I want to share anything I can with Christ–the Gospel, my possessions, and my time–but I never thought about sharing in His sufferings, in “becoming like Him.” I think I’ve been missing out on that. How about you?


Remember that every problem, affliction, and situation that you find yourself in, God will use for your own good (Romans 8:28). So think of faith as being best developed in the dark, exposing the negative to the positive (John 3:16); making disappointment an appointment, learning through every problem; and sharing in Christ’s suffering, because our goal is certainly to be more like Him.