Where do problems come from?

This question plagues us, especially when facing a tough problem. In order to actually solve problems, we need to gain an understanding of the different facets of their origin. Whenever problems enter our life we begin to think...where did they come from?

We tend to think about problems in this matter:

Either they came from…

  • My stupidity
  • My sin or someone else’s sin
  • The devil, or
  • Maybe it is God

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out if this or that caused our problems. We tend to separate the root issues into different boxes. In reality, these things are related more like the layers of an onion rather than separate things. Problems are concentric; like layers of an onion, they relate from the innermost to outermost.

A lot of problems do come from stupidity. Like hammering a nail and you end up hammering your thumb instead of the nail. You weren’t paying attention.

Another layer is sin. Sometimes the problem is that we really have done something wrong. Sin always produces consequences. Or it could be a result of someone’s sin that hurt you in a certain way causing you to react.

Another layer is the curse. Romans 8 says when humankind rebelled against him; God put a twist in our reality, a curse, so things tend to fall apart now. Out of the curse there are accidents that really hurt people. There are things like tornadoes and earthquakes where people get hurt. There are also things like germs and viruses that create diseases. This is part of the twist in reality known because of the rebellion against God.

There is also a bigger layer than the curse known as Satan. A lot of people do not take Satan seriously. The Bible does. He is a spiritual being and the Bible indicates he is a super intelligent being. He is not like God. He has a network of agents who are opposed to God and have access to our minds and feelings. They feed us thoughts that make us feel a certain way. Satan uses all of the layers inside his circle. We see this in Job.

Another layer which is a bigger and much greater circle though is God. God uses difficult things to teach us and instruct us. Romans 8:28 says God will bring us good. Out of God’s sovereign ability he will take messy things and make them into good things. He will work through our sin and other people’s sin to grow and teach us in ways He couldn’t otherwise. He will work it all together. In the meantime, it may not look like God will use your trouble for good, but He will work it all out.

As you may see, all these layers are involved. As you try to solve problems you will begin to understand the different facets of where problems come from. You will learn and gain better judgment on how to deal with people. You will learn more about how the enemy works and how to deal with him.

If you try to specify one root source of where a problem is coming from, that is not enough. You need to look at it with the multi-layers to get a better picture. If you do, you will understand more clearly how to walk with God through problems and let him do the things in your life that He needs to do.

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