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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

I don’t know about you, but one thing that I often struggle with is this idea of giving thanks in all situations.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve run into problems only for those problems to turn into opportunities, but when I’m facing a difficult situation or a struggle my first instinct is to seek a way out.

But if life experience, books, and the Bible has taught me one thing, it’s this.

I know that in all cases, problems pose opportunities for growth and advancement on my journey to something better.

Put it in another way. The word “problem” is often just a synonym for “challenge,” and challenges are good because they strengthen us.

It’s within the hot furnace of a challenge that strong character is forged.

At this point, you might be saying, “But you can’t surely mean every problem. I mean some problems or just problems?”

And I would say to that… perhaps not ALL problems?

But in many cases (if not most cases) problems are a necessary part of life so we can get better and stronger.

This might include a…

a loss of job
physical injury
family stress
and even addiction.

Yeah, you read that last one, right?

I struggled with porn for over 20 years and I’m not going to tell you that that was a good thing.

It robbed me of a lot of joys in life and it cost me a lot of wasted time. And trust me, I wasted a lot of time, mostly in front of a computer with my pants down.

And I’m not going to say that God wanted me to struggle with porn cause I don’t think he did.

But I will say this; it is through my struggle and consequential victory that God created something really good.

You see, without those years of struggle, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Without all the ups and downs, the ins and outs, without all the uncertainty in career and ministry I wouldn’t be here writing this post thankful for what’s happening inside the Live Free Community.


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I wouldn’t have the marriage I have today.
I wouldn’t have the family I have today.
I wouldn’t have the friends I have today.

And I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t have the fulfillment I feel today knowing that I’m in the right place at this point in life.

Listen, problems suck. There’s no way around it.

They’re never fun.
They’re never pleasant.
They’re not supposed to be.

But when we face them, we have a choice.

We can cry, give up, blame someone else, or wait to be delivered because we don’t have the energy to face the problem ourselves.


We can rise to the challenge and say, 

“Hey, this is an opportunity for me to move forward and get better and I’m going to take it on with everything I got this!”

I’m sure for some of you (if you’ve been struggling with porn for the past five years, 10 years, 20 years or more) it may be hard to feel thankful because you see no way out.

There’s no end in sight for the shame you deal with every day… always feeling like some sort of cosmic disappointment that God is going to be shaking his head at.

That’s how you feel.

That’s just not true.

There is freedom.
There is hope.

And rather than resenting the problem you have, be thankful for it because you can get through it.

You can use that opportunity to grow, to move forward, and to become something better, something beyond what you ever imagined in the first place.

Don’t give up.
Don’t lose hope.

Be thankful for your problems and get ready to take them on like the pitbull you can be.

By the way, if you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter to get content like this sent directly to your inbox once per week with no strings attached.


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