Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder the reason for trouble in our lives.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Trouble in Mind
"In the world ye shall have tribulation: But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John, Chapter 16, Verse 33
Trouble is intuitively defined as something that threatens our equilibrium. Sometimes the trouble can
be emotional, a threat to our physical well being. Or it could be environmental, a threat to our
livelihood, or a threat to those we love. And we are not the first to wonder why we have so much of
it. Trouble is a gift to each generation, as the struggle for divine perfection continues for the
individual and for the group. Trouble is a stimulus for us to seek the heavenly Father.
Intuitively and reflexly, we crave an environment of ease. We crave the sunny and balmy days of life.
We like the times in life where there is no struggle. We are like the 5,000 that Jesus fed, when they
all of one accord demanded that he become their king so that they would never have to toil for their
bread again. But of course he denied them their wish. Not a single one of them, when full, sought
the bread of life or the waters of truth for nourishment of their souls. While ease is an acceptable
interlude and a reward for a well-earned triumphant victory over struggle, it is the death knell of
those who would eat without work or drink without sweat.
On this very day are those who eat without work and drink without sweat. What strikes us most
poignantly is how these well-nourished folks use their free time. The vast majority of them do not
use their unearned leisure to improve themselves. They do not seek intellectual and moral growth,
nor do they seek to maintain the physical status of their bodies, not to mention spiritual development.
They speedily drive their desires down the racetrack of self gratification and soon crash on the walls
of selfishness. The more they pursue this race of self gratification, the less fulfilled they become, thus
propelling them into a vicious cycle of ever increasing efforts to gratify themselves with ever
There are also many who live from weekend to weekend. They can't wait to get away from their jobs
to further pursue self gratification. And when they return to work, they are not refreshed and ready
to tackle the troubles of a new day, but rather are they filled with dread and consternation, and only
the coercive nature of the situation (survival) drives them on. Very few of these would understand
the necessity of trouble. Very few will see that the absence of trouble in life means that there is
something dreadfully wrong with it. It is a defective life. Without trouble, we would never seek the
heavenly Father. We would not seek salvation through His son, Jesus.
Trouble is not designed to overwhelm us, though often it does. Trouble is simply the stimulus needed
to unfold the potentials that reside within us. These slumbering potentials require a potent demand
for their activation. Trouble provides that demand, driving a variety of vehicles-- material, social,
emotional, moral and spiritual. To fix trouble, we simply need to fix the vehicle that trouble is riding
in. We need to solve the problem.
To fix trouble, we must first identify the source of the difficulty. Then assemble all the known facts,
the emotional attitudes, the past experiences with similar difficulties, and how they affected the
future, which now appears in the form of the present difficulty. Next, we must present all these
factors to the Father. By exposing them, the facts are recombined and made ready for the Spirit of
Truth to function. Our emotional attitudes are exposed to the emotional attitudes of the Father's will.
The experience with similar troubles and projected efforts are exposed to the Father's will. These
factors are all spiritualized, truth-adjusted and infiltrated with divine wisdom. This process results
in a calming of the emotions; a shift of attitudes towards the divine attitude; a decision that is true,
beautiful, and good; a decision that embodies the wisdom of past conflicts and future projections;
and a decision that is not isolated from the past and the future. Thus, we see that if we are to obey
the Father's command to be perfect even as he is perfect, we must move from our present status to
our future status: divine perfection.
None of us would volunteer to greet trouble as a friend. "The cave is warm" and outside there is
"cold and suffering." This is why the Father placed his imperfect children in an imperfect
environment: so that both we and the environment can become perfect as we interact the one with
the other. The attempts of imperfect beings to solve problems in the face of trouble produces
knowledge and wisdom, and the emotional consequences of such distress cause us to seek God's
help. The Father then provides us with moral and spiritual power, along with faith, trust, hope, and
divine love. He offers us divine sonship and a continuing experience in the perfection of the spirit.
But this spiritual experience also requires struggle. To obey the Father's eternal command means
"effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress." We must have
experiences to acquire divine values and meanings. Thus the need for effort in acquiring these
values, which are concealed in the very troublesome experiences we so very much dread. When we
struggle with trouble, we are in harmony with the divine mandate. Values and meanings are
forthcoming, and so is our progress towards divine perfection.
The secret to thriving amidst the difficulties of trouble is to assert insistently and persistently, "not
my will, but your will be done." All this success is possible when the problems that trouble brings
are subjected to the Father's will, and this is made possible by simply seeking to know the Father's
will and abiding by the output of this process-a decision that embodies the highest understanding and
wisdom possible in the given situation. We should seek the Father's will more often. In fact we
should make a habit of it.
This concludes today's message on understanding why we have trouble in our lives. We hope you
find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.