Problems, Problems, Everywhere!
I hate problems! As I write today I am glancing over my right shoulder at a stain on the ceiling, my daughter pointed out to me earlier, in the studio. I have looked everywhere and can’t imagine what kind of pipe could be in that ceiling as there is no water running above it. I have racked my brain attempting to imagine what could have caused this to appear but came up with nothing, a seemingly unsolvable problem without a great cost incurring.
The word perseverance comes to mind as I know that isÂ what it will take to find the answer to this puzzling stain that I am sure wasn’t there earlier. I hate problems, especially problems that seem to be totally out of my control, like this sudden leak in the ceiling.
Earlier this week, I read a quote about problems, which commented that people are like teabags. If you want to know what is inside them, just drop them in hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem?Â Do you come out as strong or weak?Â What do problems reveal about you? I have certainly faced my share of problems and more than a leak in the ceiling, but sometimes the leaks in the ceiling are the proverbial straws that break the camel’s back. Chippie the parakeet had a day like that. It was just one problem after the other.
The newspaper article reported that Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One moment he wasÂ peacefully perched in his cage and the next moment he was quickly sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner.
She removed the attachment offÂ the end of the hose, turned the machine on, and placed the hose in the cage. The phone rang and she turned to pick up the phone. She had just said hello, when “phump”, Chippie got sucked in. The bird’s owner exclaimed, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum cleaner, and opened the bag. There was Chippie, still alive but stunned.
Dust and soot covered the bird. She grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then realizing that Chippie was greatly soaked and shivering she did what any compassionate bird owner would do. She reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
A few days after the trauma the reporter, who had previously reported on the event, called to check and see how the bird was recovering. “Well,” the owner replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares.”
It is not hard to imagine why, he was suddenly sucked into a problem, washed up, and blown over. Â Problems can sometimes be enough to steal the song from the strongest of hearts. Have you ever had a day, week, month, or year like Chippie? Times where you were shockingly caught off guard, sucked into a problem, and then washed into despair because it was out of your control, allowing it to make your life seem washed up?
When we lose our focus on God that is exactly what can occur but with God we can rise again every time. We can rise again because God doesn’t abandon us but He doesn’t take away our problems either. God is far more interested in our character than our comfort. Our relationship with God and our character are the only two things that we take with us when we leave this world for eternity.
Our focus verse this week tells us not to give up when problems come our way. Because no matter our circumstances here on earth Christ has won the ultimate victory over death and because of such we have eternal life that no one can take away. Since our relationship and character are the only two things we mayÂ pack for our trip to eternity, then we better make sure they are our top priority.
God will never abandon us, no matter what may happen on earth, believers have eternal life.Â This is the message Paul tells the people of Corinth, in a strongly written letter to help them find peace with what they were doing.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NLT)
Finding Peace in the Problems with Perseverance
As we face problems or as often happens, problems suddenly face us;Â we have to look first to God trusting and depending on Him more than the world. This can be accomplished with prayer, study, and understanding, when we have built the relationship. If we follow this it will allow our perseverance to kick in, the ability to just keep going no matter what we may face, but there is a key to remembering how to do this.
The key to our problem solving using perseverance is to remember that our life on earth is not ours.Â God didn’t create us so we could individually rule our life and world. Our purpose here is the glorify God. The success of the world is not what God intends for us, it is the success of eternal life that we must strive for. We should work to live a single life, not a double life divided by secular and sacred worlds.
If we follow this practice the promises of peace will be found through Christ. There will be no problems in the next world, the world of eternity, but until then we live in a fallen world. (John 16:33)Â Peace with God is found by first putting God in Control. This is not always easy to our human nature that wants to be in control. When problems arise we have to think and fly like an eagle.
Did you know that an eagle is awareÂ when a storm is coming long before it ever arrives? The eagle will fly to a high spot and then wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it.
The eagle doesn’t escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher.Â It rises up on the winds that bring the storm. We have to learn to face our problems like eagles and learn to soar with them. When the problem storms of life hit we do not have to allow them to overcome us. We can use God’s power to lift us above the storm clouds. It is not the problems of life that wash us up it is how we handle and deal with them.Â So how can you deal with life problems in a tangible way after consulting with God first?
There are 4 ways to deal with problems that allow the strength of God to shine, the ability to make a comeback, and the perseverance to keep moving on.
- Focus Forward – Keep your eyes moving ahead remembering what is important and not letting the world dictate a different value system. When you focus only on the current issue it will suck you in and not let go. You will become entrapped with your negative thoughts and only think in terms of the past. So let go and let God be in control. Place your focus in the right place.
- Understand Sin – Understanding sin and how it affects everyone in the world it very important. If you are sinning and that caused your issue, seek forgiveness and stop. Sometimes though it is not your sin that creates the problems but other’s sin that are in the world with you. This too, has to be recognized and accepted; knowing that God will deal with it and your position is to accept that God is in control of the situation. Solve the issue of unrest by first trusting God and then dare to do something, “Christ approved”, you haven’t done before to get results you’ve not got before.
- Attach to God and not the World – People who deal with life problems well, are not attached strongly to what they own. They recognize that God owns all. Sometimes this is about earthly things and sometimes it is about earthly relationships. You cannot allow your possessions or false ownership to control your life, emotions, and your world.
- Think Long term – Eternity is the long-term. You must think of everything in respect to eternity. When you think only in the world terms, you will never manage problems effectively. Keep your eye on your long-term plan not the current crisis of problems.
If you will follow these guidelines when dealing with problems you will worry much less and praise much more. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 tells us to first rejoice and praise God, pray without ceasing, and then give thanks to God in all circumstances. As this is the way that God’s will is seen in the believers of Jesus Christ.
Be challenged to live for God despite the problems and circumstances you may face.
Be convicted to stand up and live your life in the reaction and beliefs of how Jesus would react when facing problems.
Be comforted in knowing that one day, we will leave this world and experience a life free of problems never having to face an issue again
Love in Christ,
Remember it is not the problems of life that wash us up; it is how we handle and deal with them.
Close Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of tobacco stores worth several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man’s banker said, “You’ve done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,” replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter’s Church in Neville Square.”
Sometimes God takes the bad problems and turns them into good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
What are your thoughts about overcoming problems withÂ perseverance? Has life’s problems ever overwhelmed you? Did you remember to focus on God first? Have you learned ways to allow God to overcome your problems and press them out so you can keep moving forward?Â Join usÂ in discussion on the issue of how to handle problems or other related topics.