Each of us face problems and at times they can seem overwhelming. Whether they relate to health, career, finances, relationships, or any other area of life, it can often seem as if our problems are running over us. We may even feel that the situation is completely hopeless and that we’ll never recover from it.
These are the exact times when our faith must be the greatest. If God is the creator of all things, it follows that He is also bigger than our problems. That means that there is nothing happening in our lives – or even in the world – that is beyond God’s control. The faith part is believing that to be true, but also in seeking His help.
Take the Eternal View of Your Situation
We live in a world where we are often told that we need to take control of our lives. To some degree that’s true, but if you believe in God, you also know that that’s not entirely possible. Yes, there are many things in our lives that we can improve and even some problems we can solve. But if God is in control, it follows that we aren’t – at least not completely.
Sometimes we just need to step back and try to do our best to view our situations from afar. If we don’t understand the problems that we face, we may be experiencing them for some reason that is simply unknown to us now.
Several possibilities arise:
- God could be trying to prepare us for something bigger in the future.
- He could be trying to humble us, as a way to make us better servants.
- He could be working to give us greater empathy for others.
- He could be closing the door on something in our past to open a new one to something entirely different.
- He could be trying to get us to recognize and repent of an unconfessed sin.
- And He may simply be trying to draw us closer to Him – we’re never closer to God than when we are broken.
It’s not easy to do, but it helps if we can try to put our problems into the bigger picture perspective. God may be trying to work something out in our lives that we simply don’t understand right now. But at some point in the future, it may become abundantly clear to us, and we’ll realize that it’s for our own good.
No Matter How Bad Things Look, God is Always in Control
“…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
How much do we believe that Bible verse? It’s easy enough to believe it when life is easy and everything seems to be going our way. But the real test of faith is believing it to be true when everything seems to be running against us.
It’s never easy to believe such a bold promise when you are surrounded by what seems to be insurmountable problems. But that is what faith is all about – believing firmly in what is unseen, while that which is seen seems to be so threatening.
We need to have that kind of faith, and to never ever let go of it.
Stay in Prayer AlwaysThe couples group that my wife and I are in is studying the book of Revelation. It’s a difficult book to grasp since it is so rich in metaphors, but it’s one I have read many times in an attempt to understand its meaning. The verse below is one that I’ve read so many times, but until last night I never fully appreciated its significance:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. – Revelation 5:8 (NIV)
Pay close attention to the bolded portion of that verse – golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people – that’s you and me!
Chapters 4 and 5 in the book of Revelation give us a glimpse of what is going on in Heaven while everything here below on earth is in chaos. And what do we find out? That our prayers are being collected in golden bowls in Heaven! That is to say our prayers are being held as precious requests. None are being ignored, in fact they are being treasured.
Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears. Keep praying – even if you don’t seem to be getting a response. God isn’t ignoring your request, He’s simply delaying His response for reasons only He can understand.
Keep Going Forward – No Matter What
Praying against what seems to be insurmountable odds is an act of faith. But prayer, in combination with action, can be an even greater act of faith. It says, God hasn’t answered my prayers yet, but I’m getting myself in position for Him to do just that. Think of it as opening your hand to receive a blessing.
When we take action that is consistent with our prayers, we’re displaying faith that God hears our prayers and will answer them. We’re going forward secure in the knowledge that He will meet us along the way.
Here’s a tip from a sermon I heard at least ten years ago. The word “go” appears in the Bible 1492 times; the word “stay” appears just 33 times. “Go” is an action word; clearly our God is a god of action.
Now it is possible that we could be charging in the wrong direction, that our actions could be counter to God’s desires for us. But in my own experience, even if I’m going in the wrong direction, God seems to make it all work out. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:28 (NIV), “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Do you trust that promise when you’re facing problems that seem to be beyond your ability to cope? Leave a comment!