Problems?

Problems?

Featured in the February, 2003 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

What you do with your problems determines what you do with your life because
much of life is problems.

If you are successful in handling your problems you will be successful in
living. Here are three ways to deal with your problems.

Solved

The best way to deal with a problem is to solve it. You may solve a
problem by leaving it behind. Egypt with its slavery and hopelessness was a
problem to the Jews. They simply walked out (Exodus 12-14). It may be better to
leave an old car at the city dump than to pay for another costly repair. It is
also wise to leave an old life behind just like Matthew did (Matthew 9:9) and become “a new creation in Christ
Jesus” (II Corinthians 5:17).

Another way to solve your problem is to get help. When Lot was captured it was
Uncle Abraham who came to his rescue and solved his problem (Genesis 14).
Perhaps a good friend or a wise Christian counselor could help you.

Another way is to appeal directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. When the disciples
were about to drown during the storm on Galilee they called to Jesus “Teacher,
don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). Since he solved their problem why
can’t he solve yours?

Now all of this may sound too easy since we know that all problems are not
solved. What about the problem that does not seem to go away so quickly?

Shrunk

If a problem cannot be solved perhaps it can be shrunk.

You owe a lot of money and it seems you can never pay it. Don’t’ get
discouraged. Though there is no instant solution you can certainly reduce the
amount. Don’t say, “If I can’t pay it all I won’t pay anything”. Make moderate
regular payments and thus shrink your problem. It is amazing how a large amount
of money can be paid with regular payments. A thirty-year mortgage is an
example!

You have a weight problem? Already you have tried all the diets only to become
hopelessly discouraged. Why not forget the fad approaches and 30-day plans. If
you weigh 300 pounds why not just take off a pound a month. That won’t solve
your problem but it will shrink it and do so without wrecking your health or
frightening your friends.

But it has to be admitted that there are some problems that cannot be solved nor
shrunk. Then what do you do?

Supervised

If your problem cannot be solved or shrunk, then you have a
difficulty like Paul’s “thorn” in his flesh that simply would not go away (II
Corinthians 12:7-10).

Paul had some chronic physical ailment that is described as “a messenger of Satan to torment” him. Paul prayed three
times for it to be taken away, and even Paul with his powerful prayers could not
get rid of this malady.

Since he could not get rid of the problem he has to supervise or manage it. In
managing the problem he has two choices. He can either live with it in defeat or
live with it in victory.

All by himself he would have probably become a sullen, bitter person living in
defeat with this ailment.

However, he found a better way. He listened to Christ who said, “My grace is
sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Now with the power of Christ he was able not merely to survive but to thrive. He
could live in victory and with the strength of the Savior he could supervise his
problem; that is, he could make it serve him rather

than he becoming a slave to his problem.

Hear him as he says, “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my
weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” He supervises his problem so
that he turns his adversity into an advantage. He says, “That is, for Christ’s
sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in
difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul almost makes you want to go looking for problems so you can have the
exciting experience of receiving Christ’s strength to deal with these difficulties.
The problem may be bigger than you but it is never bigger than God.

So it is clear that the unsolvable, unshrinkable problem need not ruin your
life. Our powerful God will use that problem to make you the kind of person that
he wants you to become.

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