According to Proverbs 1:4, Solomon explains his purpose in collecting and writing down all the wise sayings he could find. He said, “I want to make the simpleminded wise! I want to warn young men about some problems they 07 problemswill face.” Wisdom, therefore, is not a collection of facts and figures. It’s not a catalogue of information. Rather, biblical wisdom, especially as found in the book of Proverbs, has as its goal to instruct us on how to manage life’s problems. The same idea is repeated in Proverbs 27:12. It says, “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences.”

The raw truth about life is that, like my mother used to say, “There’s always something!” She was usually referring to me and my behavior problems. So she’d add, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Yes, in every area of life there’s always something! I’d argue that it wasn’t always that way. Milton wrote paradise lost. Adam & Eve went their own way and that started all the problems in the world and the world is broken. Nothing on earth is perfect… the weather, the economy, your body, etc… relationships… everything is broken. Nothing is perfect except God’s word. God said “it’s going to be hard…” in Genesis 3. Hard work and hard labor… Further, there’s a cosmic battle going on within us. It’s called the flesh. Our own sinful nature further complicates the issue and we end up being the cause of many of our own problems. There’s a battle going on all around us. It’s called the world. Culture attempts to tear us down. Unless you’re the best, brightest and most beautiful, you’re nothing! There’s also a battle going on against us, he’s called the devil. According to John, these three; the world, the flesh, and the devil conspire to make our lives miserable. In 1 John 2:16, he calls them the lusts of the flesh, the desires of our eyes, and the pride of life.

Yet God has promised us that these problems are really opportunities. He has made it perfectly clear that our problems regardless of their source, are part of His major program to work things out for our very best in this life and, even more importantly, in the next life. Paul reminds us “all things work together for our good…” (see Romans 8:28). He doesn’t say that all things are good, but that they will work together for our good. In the mids of the greatest “problem” Israel ever faced (their deportation to Babylon), God reminded them in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has a purpose for every problem in our life. The wisest man in the world warned us we’d have problems, and he fills the book of Proverbs with wisdom to manage them.