A friend on facebook recent said, "Problems are messages."
Think about it. A health problem—even a minor one—is a message that you're not taking proper care of yourself. A financial problem is a hint that you're not managing well the resources God has given you, or that you're not properly prepared for the inevitable rainy days of life. Tension in a relationship tells you that, perhaps, you're being too demanding, or too selfish, or too insensitive in this moment.
Problems are often messages from God: he uses them to shine light on the things we are doing in conflict with his Word, things which hurt ourselves and hurt others.
Problems are more than just messages. Another a fellow Christian facebook friend said, “On the mountain tops we get our mandate! In the valley is our ministry work.” You can also consider each problem to be an implied mission from God. When difficulties get in your way, you can be sure that God is challenging you to do something about it.
Many people respond to problems by demanding more from those around them: "What's wrong with you? Why can't you change yourself for me? Why won't somebody fix this situation for me?"
God's people, especially those in leadership, need to respond to problems with the question: "What can I do? What can I do differently? What can I do to make things better? What can I do to make me better? What can I do TODAY?
Remember Nehemiah. This Jewish refugee had landed on his feet, so to speak, in Babylon. He could have continued living in the king's palace; it was the life of a slave, true, but it was also a life of relative comfort.
Instead, when he heard about the desolation of Israel, he fell to his knees and asked, "Lord, what can I do?" The prayer in Nehemiah 1:5-10 reflects his attitude of repentance and his resolve to make a difference. He identified what he needed to change about himself, and what he needed to do to change the situation.
What problem is picking at you today? Look at it closely. Open it up. There's a message inside, a message that will take in the direction of your next mission.