We live in a day and time that is fraught with problems. A problem, according to Dictionary.com, is any question or matter that involves doubt, uncertainty or difficulty. It is a perceived gap between the existing state and a desired state, or a deviation from a norm, standard, or status quo. It is a gap between what is and how we would like things to be. Dictionary .com further states that although many problems turn out to have several solutions (the means to close the gap or correct the deviation), difficulties arise where such means are either not obvious or are not immediately available. In other words, there is an answer to the problem out there, but for some reason you either can’t come up with the answer or you don’t have the means to get to the answer.
Every new day on planet earth offers a full plate of problems, whether financial, economic or social. Let’s look at some characteristics of a problem. (I expect that others may wade in with a different opinion about what constitutes a problem, but I’m going to put my own interpretation out there.) Based on Engineering and Medical theorists as well as my own theory:
-Problems are problems TO YOU only when you are aware of them and when you decide to recognize them as problems.
A mass in your abdomen was not a problem to you until you discovered that it was there, either as a sign, symptom or abnormal lab value. You might have discovered its existence through a physician or someone else and, yes, it was a mass from the beginning of its existence, but it was not a problem to you until its discovery and your acceptance as such.
– Problems are problems because they have no easy answers – if they did, they would be already solved.
Example: Johnny rushes into the kitchen just minutes before the school bus drives up and says…”Mama, I need $25 for the Field Trip that we’re going on today. Sorry, but I forgot to tell you.” Well, if you have $25 on hand you might be irritated with Johnny but you just run in, get the money and give it to him. But, if you don’t have the money, payday is three days away, and you have no one to borrow the money from, you have a problem.
– Problems and values change over time. What is a problem to you today may not be a problem to you later in life.
The 15 year old nerd may see himself as a social reject which may be a major problem for him. But that same nerd, who at 50, is the owner of a company, is a billionaire, and who has thousands of employees may no longer see his nerd-iness as a problem.
– A problem is a problem if you believe it to be a problem. I was in Honduras, Central America a few years ago and I was profoundly affected by some of the things that I saw. The poor condition of the roads, the miles of highway with no street lights at night, the begging on the streets, the poverty, and men armed with M16s to protect restaurants, banks and shops were a major problem to me. But I also noticed that the vast majority of people just went on with their lives. They laughed and lived and did not appear to be affected by their circumstances. The things that I saw as a problem were everyday life to them.
There are some problems that are harder to deal with than others: illness, pain, the death of loved ones, murder, rape, extreme poverty, homelessness, want, hunger, need, depression, drugs, alcohol, road rage, financial down turns, loss of jobs, infidelity, aging poorly, theft, rejection, loneliness, and suicide. These problems represent some of the negative aspects of life that some people experience every day. For some, these problems are insurmountable. But I declare unto you, nothing is too hard for the Lord. I believe that For Every Problem That You Face, God Has the Solution… And His Name is Jesus.
The long list of problems that I just identified has a single source. That source is called Sin. What exactly is sin? Sin is the transgression of God’s Law. When God says don’t, we do. Most of us know the story of man’s original sin, but let’s briefly review it for those who may not be clear on the topic. God found sin in Satan when he (Satan) attempted to exalt his kingdom above God’s. He was kicked out of heaven and took a third of the angels with him. God created Adam and Eve and He gave them a free will to love him which is shown through obedience. (You demonstrate your love for God when you obey His Word.) John 14:15 (KJV) says 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Unfortunately, Adam and Eve flunked the test of love and their sin plunged us all into the same state that awaits Satan and his angels…the certainty of Hell after death. But God, in His matchless love, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as a ransom for our sins. Jesus walked the earth as a natural man who did no sin. He demonstrated for us that we could live a sinless life. Jesus hung, bled, died, was raised from the dead by God and ascended back to our Heavenly Father to pave the way for us to be able to follow in His footsteps. To assure that we are able to make it back to God, we have the Holy Bible as our written Guide, the Holy Ghost as our Spiritual Guide, and a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews chapter 11) who are human beings just like us who successfully made it into the Kingdom of Heaven. In addition, we have Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, to help us.
Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
So, what’s the problem? Why is it that everyone is not saved? Why is it that everyone is not on their way back to heaven? One problem is Satan. Because he cannot get back to God, he does not want us to be able to get back to God, so he tries to trip us up. Jesus calls him a thief.
John 10:10 (KJV)
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We give Satan too much credit, though, because if we really want to be saved, we can be. Jesus died so that we could be. So the real problem lies within us. We have to understand that sin is the basis of all of our problems and we have to want to be free of sin and its consequences. We have to perceive that we have problems that God can solve, and then go after God’s solution with all of our heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Got problems? Get Jesus. God bless.