When you are in the mission field, your plans and intentions don’t come as you expect.

Why does that happen? What does God say about the problems that we face in our mission field?

When Paul told the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man,” he made practical the doctrine of Anthropology.

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Declaring that all human problems are “such as is common,” Paul explained that fallen man is susceptible to all the problems that men have in common. Man, made in the image of God, fell; and by that fall, caused all creation to fall with him. Ultimately, as we face the innumerable problems of life, we find the truth: The problem is us–humans.

Without Paul’s next phrase, facing our fallenness would lead to despair.

“But God is faithful!” Though we are fallen, He has not abandoned us in our fallen condition. In His divine plan, He makes “a way to escape,” to enable us to bear up under our trials. Having been created in the image of God, we labor in the shame of a marred image, yet we endure through the hope of God’s promise that we will not only escape, but will once again be conformed to His image through Christ. If, “the problem with human problems is humans,” the answer to human problem is Christ.

“That is so negative!” You say. “Why do we have to be so focused on making people sound so awful?”

This is a common response.

Good question.

We all agree that the news about man is bad news. But knowing the bad news is what makes the Good News so good. The good news is Salvation!

That is the story of man–deliverance in the face of desperation; hope for the hopeless. We don’t just have problems; we are the problem. The Creator made us in His image; the Savior would remake us into His image.

Next time, when your plans or intention don’t come as you expect, consider that every mission field involves humans, and our main problem would be to remember our spiritual condition, not the problem by itself.

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