Problems: The Raw Materials for Greatness (Z.T. Fomum)

When God has great plans for a man, He puts the man in great problems, because problems are raw materials for the production of great people. If you mean nothing to God, He will bring you no problem, He will bring you no suffering; He will just leave you there, so that a fool may just be having a fool’s paradise. If God has small projects for you, He will bring you small problems. If He has average projects for you, He will bring you average problems. If He has great projects for you, He will bring you great problems; because we rise to greatness through problems. We rise to greatness through problems!  

If the prophetess Anna’s husband had lived, she would have become a nobody. She would have just said, “O my husband, my husband,” and would never have been heard. God took away her husband. It looked like a terrible blow, but that was the raw material to make her into a Woman of the Glory. She moved from the house, from cooking for a man to the temple for 84 years, to bring down the King of Glory.

Look at Joseph. Before he was 17, he was in for problems – jealousy from his brothers, evil-spoken of. Then they sold him. He became a slave; from slave to prison. Every step was down, down, down into the pit, down into Egypt, down into slavery, down into prison.

Do you look at some people and say, “These people have no problems”? They are not important. Important men have important problems. Big men have big problems. That is God’s raw material. When you see big problems coming your way, just know that God has singled you out for greatness. 


When I see big problems coming my way, I know God has singled me out for greatness.”  The apostle Paul says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). 

Difficulty, difficulty, difficulty means success, success, success! How do you get to the top? Some of you say, “Weeh! When will I rest?” Listen,

Are they servants of Christ? I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). 

Problems, problems, problems, problems—and they produced the foremost apostle.  “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be dis- credited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10). 

If he had chosen an easier course we would not be reading him today.  So the Second Law is: Difficulties, problems, hardships, things that sometimes defy your understanding, being crushed from all directions, indicate that you have been chosen for greatness. When you see those things coming, know what God has chosen you for. And say to Him, “God, give me more sufferings. God, give me more problems.”  Comfort is disaster. It is a confession that you have been eliminated from the race. Difficulties are the raw materials for the production of the great people of God. Look at those children who are driven to school in cars; they run away from school to go and play “bally-bally” and cause the parents headache and heartache. Those children who read under the streetlamps succeed.

I just want to read about somebody who asked for more problems:

 “Here I am, Lord, send me; send me to the end of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is earthly comfort; send me to death itself if it be but, in Thy service, and to promote Thy Kingdom.”  DAVID BRAINERD IN THE BOOK: “THE MINISTERS AND MINISTRY OF THE NEW COVENANT.

“Yet more, Oh, my God, more toil, more agony, more suffering for Thee.”  FRANCIS XAVIER. (EXCERPTS PAGE 60—CHAPTER 6: A SUFFERING MINISTRY) With my whole heart, I echo that. My cry to God is, “Give me the music of the Cross. Give me more of Gethsemane. May it not be sweat drops of prayer; may it be sweat drops of blood.” 

The spirit of our generation is the spirit of comfort. The spirit that will conquer our generation is the spirit that is the very opposite of comfort. Troubles to the left, troubles to the right, troubles in front, troubles behind, so that there is only one direction open—you flow towards the Lord.  Say, “Thank You, my Lord, for the problems that You have lovingly sent my way for my own good, for my perfection, for my sanctification.” 

Excerpt from: Laws of Spiritual Success, Volume 1 – Z.T. Fomum

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