Wednesday, January 09, 2008

TRIALS: We Need More Problem Solvers; Fewer Problem Reporters!

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you …"
Isaiah 43:2f

"No temptation has befallen you …"
1 Corinthians 10:13

"… count it all joy …"
James 1:2-4

"… draw near unto God …"
James 4:8a

"… an anchor of our soul …"
Hebrews 6:19
An old Bulgarian proverb says, “God promises a safe landing, but not a calm passage.”

Someone else once said, “The world has so many problems … if Moses [were to] come down from Mount Sinai today, the two tablets … would have been aspirin.”

Robert Orbin in Quotable Quotations (Wheaton, Illinois.: Victor Books, 1985) Lloyd Cory, compiler, 304.]

If you’re like me, problems are unwelcomed guests; many seem so ill-timed they appear to have demons in charge of them. To a great extent, how we handle problems reveals how much enjoyment we can expect to receive from life.

Most of what we call problems, though, are actually symptoms. To solve a problem we must first identify IT, not its symptoms. Symptoms come back, again and again; whereas a solved problem is history. In the real world, problem solving is both an art and a science, each with a requisite spiritual component.

A general rule of problem solving is: if you can “directly” affect the outcome of a solution, then the problem is yours, alone.

Another is: if you can only indirectly affect the outcome of a solution, then you have a shared problem … you must have the help of other responsible parties to fix the problem.

Another is: if you can’t affect the outcome of a problem, then you have no business shouldering responsibility for it …it’s not your problem. This can free many people from a lot of unnecessary stress.

None are exempt from life’s trials [James 1:2-4], and problems serve a purpose: they instruct us, they strengthen us and they straighten us! Someone said: to appreciate the worth of an anchor, we must feel the storm. God often uses life experiences to draw us to Him; Satan, on the other hand, uses them to destroy us (see Job).

In any river, on any beach, you’ll find smooth stones, abundantly; but stones in sheltered places, and those on dry land will be rough, dirty, and jagged. All over our town, people use those smooth stones to accent their homes, to cover chimneys, porches, and patios. Even David used smooth stones to slay Goliath. We don’t have much use for rough or ugly stones.

Let me encourage you with this reminder: we’ve a personal love relationship with God; His response to our problems will be personal and loving … you can count on it!
God doesn’t want His children burdened and heavy laden.

Jesus said: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." [Matthew 11:28-30]

Recognizing that fact removes the motivation to carp and complain about our problems and circumstances. And remember: God is faithful …but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also … .

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