It’s been said, “There are no big problems. There are just lots of little problems.” But in 2006, we had a lot of big problems. Two of my daughters were graduating (high school and college), one of my sons was going to war in Iraq and later was shot by a sniper, and my mom died suddenly. All in one year.
I’m sure just telling you of my problems, causes you to realize all your problems. I heard someone say, “Never tell anyone your problems. 20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.” I don’t know about that, but I know when you have one problem it just seems to zap the strength out of your day.
But what can you do? The genius, Albert Einstein, said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We need a new perspective.
In Luke 6:17-26, Jesus gave a positive perspective on problems through His actions and His words. You can have the same positive perspective on your problems.
“…a great multitude of people… came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases… and [He] healed them all.” (Luke 6:17-18).
The needs of the people were overwhelming. They fell into three categories: the need for teaching, the need for healing, and the need for freedom from demons. Immediately, the apostles saw why Jesus called them to join His inner circle. They would join Him in combating spiritual ignorance, reversing the effects of evil, and confronting the supernatural demons of darkness. No problem in the world could stand against Jesus and His power. All fell under His mighty authority.
Bring your problems to God. He will either remove the problems or give you strength to endure them. Either way, your best place is to stay close to God. He will either get you out or walk with you.
” Blessed be the poor… Blessed are ye that hunger now… Blessed are ye that weep now… Blessed are ye when men shall hate you…” (Luke 6:20-22)
Jesus had no doubt the result of the problems that face humanity – blessing. Poverty, hunger, sorrow, rejection will all become a blessing in God’s hands.
Many people walk in our church building and comment on how beautiful it is. But you should have seen this place in 1996. We had a small building that was crowded if we had 100 people, which we never did. It needed painting, a new carpet, and no place for a dinner or even a lobby to hang out. Plus, it just looked weird. It had a slanted roof. It was actually stage one of a building that never got to stage two. Then on Christmas morning 1996 we had a fire that destroyed the building. We went through meetings with our insurance agent, fire department to determine the cause, congregation, deacons, building committee, architects and construction companies. Lots of work equity and personal finances in this building. Our fingerprints are all over this. And when we opened everyone said how much God blessed us with a new building. I agree. But we went through some horrible problems to get the blessings.
The question pops up at us – Do we trust Jesus enough to wait on His blessing? Or must we find instant gratification with the world? Will we wait for the problems of life blossom into the blessings of God?
One day, you will be so glad you lived with less, did without, endured the pain, and suffered from the rejection of others. You may now look at others with envy and jealousy and wish you could trade lives, but eventually the roles will be reversed. When Jesus looks at you and stretches His nail pierced hand and simply says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in the life I asked you to live, so now you can enjoy the blessings you missed in life for eternity.”
Ask yourself if your wealth, your position, your power in this world is preventing you from joining those God is blessing with eternal rewards. For some people, their riches, their plenty, their laughter, their respect, is all the reward they will ever get. You may need to rearrange your life to live with less of what you need so you can have more of what you want.
Jim Elliott, a missionary with a young wife and one year old daughter who at the age of 28 was murdered by the Auca Indians of Ecuador with four of his friends, once said, “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Instead of looking at what you don’t have now, look at what you will gain for all eternity.