Problems are ever present in life. Those who can overcome them find success, but those who succumb to them find failure. The way you deal with problems will define who you are as a person. Time keeps going with or without you, so you better have a strategy to deal with problems or they will eat you up and spit you out. There are all sorts of ways of dealing with problems in life, some of which will yield good results and some that are a waste of time, but the simple fact is — The one common experience of all humanity is the challenge of problems.
God With Us: One of our favorite scriptures is “If God be for us, who can be against us?” — Romans 8:31. It is such a great and powerful statement of faith summed up in a short sentence. It is the recognition that any problem or challenge we face in life — God is with us. And when God is with us, He protects us, heals us, provides for us, and shows us the path of life. For anyone who is in Him, these promises are true. It’s a powerful thing to know God is on your side and that He is there to get you through any challenge. However, many believers become lazy with this knowledge and feel as if God alone must do all the work and they can sit by and do nothing. Phrases like, “God is in control” or “It’s God will” have been taken to such extremes that people create more problems out of their own laziness rather than taking the initiative to face them. God is with us for certain, but it is the individual who must act upon that faith. You can’t expect the world to yield before you if your actions are contrary to your statements. It’s like saying, “If God wants the lawn mowed, He will send angels to mow it for me.” Rather, a person should just go mow the lawn. God with us is not an excuse to recuse oneself from facing problems. Yet, surprisingly, this attitude of... It’s all up to God, is ever present in the church today. Many times we hear potential missionaries act wishy-washy if they are called or not because they don’t have the emotional or financial support of others. If you find yourself whining about no-one caring enough for you to become a missionary, then you will face a hard reality when you are knee deep in jungle mud, low on rations and trying to find the energy to make it to the next village. If you want a great example of God with us, look no further than David vs Goliath. David didn’t waltz down to the frontlines and face off with Goliath only to say, “Okay God, go ahead and strike him down for me.” No, he ran across that field to fight, knowing the Lord God was with Him. He acted and God backed him up against all odds. God can do the same thing in your life, but you have to run across the field and face your problems head-on.
Problem Lovers: Here’s a secret — Self-pity is not a real problem, it’s a selfish habit. Today, people everywhere complain about something. Social media seems like one big sounding board to seek pity or manufacture sympathy. People love to wallow in weakness and hate it when someone tries to solve their problems. “You just don’t understand” some will fire back at a person who offers help. For this type of person, having a problem is their solution because it manufactures empathy upon which they feed. One of the greatest reasons people fail to advance in their career or move on in life is that they are woefully bad at solving problems. Being a good problem solver is a key to being successful in any vocation. For example, inventors are basically problem solvers who create new tools to make life more efficient for society. They see a problem and fix it. Look at your life and define the areas where you are facing problems. Don’t marinate in them, instead solve them. The beautiful thing is, God is there with you, to give you wisdom and understanding, so don’t act as if you don’t have that heavenly advantage, act as if you do.
Stubborn Minded: Stubborn people are some of the worst problem solvers. They just keep trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. They can’t even tell when God is trying to help them. One good illustration of this is from an old joke. I am sure you’ve heard it before, but it’s a good example. Here it goes — One day there was a flood and a woman climbed to the top of her house to avoid being swept away by the rising waters. She prayed to the Lord, “Lord save me from the waters.” Then two men came by walking waist deep in the water and said to the woman, “Come down and we will carry you to safety.” She replied, “No, the Lord will save me.” So the men passed by and the waters rose even more. Then a boat came by and the people on it said to the woman, “Hop in and we will take you to safety.” She again replied, “No, the Lord will save me.” So they passed by and the waters rose even more. Then a helicopter came and said to the woman, “Grab the rope, this is your last chance.” She yelled to the pilot, “No, the Lord will save me.” The helicopter flew off and minutes later the woman drowned. When she got to heaven she asked God, “Why didn’t you save me?” God replied, “I sent you two men, a boat and a helicopter.”
Problems Aren’t Unique: Every problem you have faced is a problem somebody else has faced with equal or more severity. Don’t act as if you are uniquely suffering. The devil prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). His antics have been played on the human race since Adam and Eve. Be strategic against the devil and know who and what you are in Christ Jesus. If you are under attack, rebuke the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). If you are facing a new challenge in life, tackle it and find a way. Pray for guidance and act upon the Word. Grab hold of the promises of God and conduct your life accordingly. In all things be thankful to the Lord, but in no way should you settle with unresolved problems. God is there to help you get through it, so, face it and move on. The world opens up for great problem solvers.
Tim and Will