How Does God Help Us Grow

  How Does God Help Us Grow?

Two Purposes of Irritations – by Dr. Lance Wallnau 

A philosophy of life that works is one that gives perspective or purpose to the irritations that we encounter. I want to invite you now to put a different frame on the problems that you have and to look for the potential purpose behind them.

How does God help us grow? He helps us to grow by giving us challenges that are beyond our skill set. Sometimes we would love to pray away, prophesy away or rebuke away these challenges, but God actually sent them to accomplish a purpose.

In my studies over the years, I’ve discovered some quotes that are positively life-transforming. One of them has to do with the two classes of irritations. So catch this: 

“There are many irritations which we experience which we can and should remove. A squeaky door can be oiled; an angry neighbor can be appeased; and a personal habit can be changed. There are other irritations, however, which are beyond our power to correct or remove. These irresolvable irritations provide the basis for a significant process which God intends to take place within each of our lives.” -Research in Principles of Life Basic Seminar Textbook

What is this process?

1. Personal transformation: One of those processes is that the irritant is actually sent to refine or shape us. For instance, there might be a person who is overbearing or rude or irritating, and God has them in our life—not for the purpose of us getting away from them—but for the purpose of us maturing in our own fruit of the spirit. This is so that we can, in a sense, outgrow the immaturity of where we were before we met the irritant.

2. Favor in relationships: Interesting promise, that once a man’s ways please the Lord, the Lord causes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). You might see that God literally changes the relationship you have with someone once you humble yourself. As you become more flexible and gentle, or perhaps open to reproof, willing to learn, listen or ask better questions, you begin to find favor in otherwise strained relationships. Now, suddenly, that former irritant has become for you the opportunity—like the potter’s wheel—to be made into a more beautiful vessel.

I encourage you to look at this idea of transforming irritations into opportunities to grow before you discard the irritation or summarily assume that the irritation is something the devil sent. It could be God’s gift in your life. 

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It could be God's chastisement to wake you up! Israel was told to deal with the “ites” in their land or they would multiply and become “pricks in your side” (Numbers 33:55). They were warned that these enemies would become a nonstop source of irritating intrusion and erosion of freedom. Have you heeded the Lord’s warning to deal with the “ites” in your life?