I can do what I should in the right way that I should.
I shall do what I should in the right way that I should.
I will do what I should in the right way that I should.
If I am going to tackle my problems and solve my problems correctly, then I must stay awake and alert: "AWAKE thou that S______________________" (Ephesians 5:14) "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to _______________ out of S___________" (Romans 13:11). Problems demand our alert attention. (Think of math class in school. How many math problems can you solve while you are daydreaming?)
If I am a real believer and I stay awake and alert, there are six things that I must do:
I need to recognize what is going on and be aware of my surroundings. I need to stay on my toes and be conscious of what is taking place (WHO, WHAT and WHY). I must see the problem before I can solve the problem.
A response is an appropriate reaction made voluntarily or spontaneously to that which serves as a stimulus. If you stimulate a person by tickling him, he responds by laughing. If you stimulate a person with an onion, he responds by shedding tears. When a problem comes along, I need to respond in the right way. If I recognize that a manhole cover is missing, I respond by walking around it (and not falling into the hole). If I see that Susie is upset, I seek to respond in the right way. In Luke 10:30-34, three men walked by a serious problem. How many responded in the right way?
I must relate to the problem and do something about it. No problem is ever solved by running away from it. If I really am a believing believer, then I should see and recognize certain needs in me and around me and that I have the resources to meet those needs. MY GOD is more than enough for MY PROBLEMS: "I can do ___________ through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). "But my God shall ______________ all your N________" (Philippians 4:19).
I must find an answer to my problem. The problem requires some action and interaction on my part. I have a part to play, God has a part to play, and often others have a part to play. Suppose I need to have my appendix removed. I can pray and trust the Lord, but do I still need a doctor? Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do (Luke 5:31). I can trust God to help the doctor do his part as he should.
What should I do if I have a cavity in my tooth? Should I pray and ask God to fill it, or does the dentist have a part too?
If your family is low in food, does the grocery store have a part? Should you expect God to drop down bread from heaven? To resolve this problem, you must go to the grocery store.
Suppose that I have a math problem in school that I cannot solve. Should I do more than just pray about it? Is God going to drop down an envelope from heaven which has the solution to the math problem in it? Should I go to someone who is able to help me to understand the math problem (a friend who is good in math, a teacher, my parent)?
Suppose you were all alone in the desert and dying of thirst. No one else is around to help. You must do your part (walk or crawl and trust God to rescue you somehow), and God will do His part by leading you to an oasis or do whatever He will do, but no one else can do their part because there is no one else around.
I need to remember this: all I can do is my part. I cant do someone elses part. I am limited in what I can do and how much I can do. I can encourage others and be an example to others, but I cant do their part for them. I must do my part, they must do their part and God will surely do His part!
There is one thing that I can always do. I can trust God to do His part: to rule and to overrule, to carry out His will and to work together all things for ___________ (Romans 8:28). There is something else I can always do. In everything I can always give _____________ (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I need to rest with the problem knowing that God will work it out. "R________ in the ____________" (Psalm 37:7). "Trust also in _________; and He shall bring it to _________" (Psalm 37:5).
Be revived! Stay alive and if necessary, BE REVIVED. This means we need to be brought back to a fresh, lively condition (think of a flower that is dry and wilted; when you put it in water it revives and comes alive!). "Wilt thou not _________ us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6). Just as the wilted flower needs water, so the wilted believer needs to _____________ what God the Lord will speak" (Psalm 85:8). Revival comes when our ears and heart are tuned in with God!
In chapter 2 we defined the word "PROBLEM." Lets think about this definition again. We said that a problem is "something that has been thrown before you which requires your attention and action." Lets try to picture this:
Problems are within and problems are without. Let us think of a calculator. To rightly and correctly solve a problem, three things are needed:
1) The calculator must be properly built, and it must work rightly. I might be a mathematical wiz, but if my calculator was not made properly, I will not get the right answers.
2) The calculator must be used in the right way. If I am to get the right answers, then I must press the right buttons. For example, if I were to try to solve 9 x 8 = _____, I would need to press these buttons:
What’s the answer? ____
If I press
will I get the correct answer?_____
3) I must understand what I am doing so that I press the right buttons of the calculator. If I think that I should be multiplying when I really should be dividing, then Im going to have a problem. Heres a problem to solve: The car has traveled 335 miles and has used 12 gallons of gas. How many miles per gallon did the car get? What buttons should I press?
Before we can solve a problem, we must understand the problem!
These same three steps are needed when it comes to solving the problems we face:
1) Make sure you have the right facts to work with (just like you need to make sure you have a well-built calculator to work with). The previous 12 chapters in this set of notes have contained fact after fact which will help you to tackle your problems in the right way. The Bible has all the principles you will ever need to solve your problems!
2) Make sure you use the facts in the right way. What good are all the things you learned in the first 12 chapters if you never put them to practice? What good is the Bible if you never use it? You might have the best flashlight in the world, but if it is put aside and you never use it, then it will never do anyone any good!
3) Make sure you really understand the problem. Suppose you have a problem that seems impossible to solve. In Chapter 9 you learned that you are very limited. Suppose you got mixed up and started to think that God was very limited ("If I am limited God must be also"). In fact, you start thinking that the problem must be impossible for God to solve also! Is this a correct understanding of God and the problem? _____
How does all of this work?
Suppose you were dealing with a mental problem. Suppose John thinks one way and Mary thinks a certain way and God thinks a certain way also. How do all of these things add up?
John thinks + Mary thinks + God thinks = ?
How does it all stack up? Suppose that the way John thinks and the way Mary thinks do not agree with God. Should you agree with one of them or should you not agree with either of them? Should you do something or should you not do something? Who is thinking correctly? You need to be careful that you do not make a wrong mental move.
Suppose you were dealing with a spiritual problem. Suppose there is some sin in your life. The spiritual fact is that sin breaks a persons fellowship with God and that this fellowship can be restored only by CONFESSING the sin (1 John 1:9). What will happen if you fail to confess the sin (you fail to acknowledge to God that what you did was wrong)? Would you be able to enjoy fellowship with God? Once again there is an equation:
What if you think that you can have fellowship restored without confessing? Are you understanding the problem correctly? You need to be careful that you do not make a wrong spiritual move.
Problems are here to stay. The believer will face problems until death or until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:17). As long as the believer is "in the W_______________ " (John 16:33), he will have problems and trouble. Unbelievers will have problems even after death, and it will be too late for them to do anything about their problems. See Luke 16:22-31.
Problems come and problems go. Some problems are large and some problems are small. Some are major and some are minor. Some are hard to solve and others are easy to solve. Problems come in many kinds of sizes, shapes, and flavors. They appear before us all through our life.
THESE PROBLEMS COME TO US BY WAY OF...
... PLACES (school, neighborhood, home, etc.)
Conditions have some relationship to causes or circumstances. For example, weather conditions might cause many problems. A persons physical condition might cause many problems (too sick to go to school and thus the student misses the exam, etc.).
A situation is a significant inter-relationship between circumstances and the connection between these and the person or persons involved. Can you think of a difficult situation that a person might be involved in?
... OUR OLD NATURE AND HABITS
Many problems are caused by our own sinfulness. Many of our problems come from ourselves without getting help from anyone else!
Gods ability to handle all problems, at all times, is always true. See 2 Corinthians 9:8 and write down every word which begins with the letter "A" (not counting the first word "And"):
My ability to handle problems increases as I correctly know and grow. Just as I handled ONE PROBLEM, so I will and I must handle many, many more problems as I travel down lifes road.
WHAT KEEPS ME AND STOPS ME FROM KNOWING AND GROWING AND HANDLING MY PROBLEMS IN THE RIGHT WAY?
1) UNBELIEF STOPS ME.
Why didnt the children of Israel enter into the Promised Land (read Hebrews 3:18,19; 4:6,11 and circle the correct answer):
In Hebrews 12:1 we see a runner who is being beset by the sin of unbelief. This runner is like a man putting on heavy armor or a heavy space suit and then trying to run against the other runners who have nothing on but their light running outfit. Unbelief stops a person from running as he should. In Chapter 7 we saw how unbelief stopped the children of Israel again and again.
2) OUTSIDE INFLUENCES CAN STOP ME.
Read Galatians 5:7. Here is a person who was running the race well, but someone else cut in on him and got him to go off track. (Certain false teachers were leading the Galatian believers in the wrong direction.) I must remember, however, that the only person who can really stop me from running the race as I should is ME, MYSELF AND I. Other people can get me off track only if I let them. The only person who can really stop me from growing is me.
3) FEAR STOPS ME.
The wrong kind of fear causes me to run away and hide from the God who can help me. I should not be like a little child who has something in his eye and who runs away from his parents who can help to get the splinter out. The right kind of fear (the fear of God) causes me to run to God so that He can help me and fix the problem. Did Adam have the right kind of fear (Genesis 3:7-10)? _______ Did Jehoshaphat have the right kind of fear (2 Chronicles 20:3)?_______ See Psalm 23:4 and Hebrews 13:6.
4) DISAPPOINTMENT STOPS ME.
Things do not go the way I wanted them to go, so I get angry and give up. Think of Joseph being sold into Egypt and later thrown into prison. Did things go the way Joseph wanted?_____ Did things go the way God wanted (see Genesis 50:20)? _____ Often our disappointments are Gods appointments!
5) CONFUSION STOPS ME.
Im confused, and Im perplexed (I dont know what to do). I need to remember that even though Im confused, God is not. Therefore, what should I do (Proverbs 3:5-6)?
6) CONFRONTATION STOPS ME.
Think of a football game. Two teams confront each other, and there is a real battle on the field! There is a battle within every believer between the old nature and the new nature (Galatians 5:17). The old nature may want to listen to Sally or John, but the new nature wants to listen to God. Should I do right or wrong? The old nature says, "Do wrong and youll be happy." The new nature says, "Do right and youll please God!" This mixed thinking leads to a conflict. Who is going to win: the old or the new? Where am I going to stand (see Chapter 12)? I cant grow if I keep letting the old nature win.
Sometimes we even bury the problem as if it does not even exist. Does burying the problem make the problem go away? Does burying the problem help to solve the problem? Sometimes we cover up the problem (we tell our parents that we will be in the shopping center when actually we went somewhere else). Do you know that the cover-ups will be uncovered? You may try to cover up the problem but you can be sure that it will show up some day. The Bible says, "BE SURE YOUR _____ WILL __________ YOU OUT" (Numbers 32:23). Burying the problem and covering up the problem do not solve the problem; they only make it worse!
7) DOUBT STOPS ME.
"CAN GOD?" (Psalm 78:19) What is the answer to this question? ________________________ See Chapter 7.
8) BITTERNESS STOPS ME.
When I grow bitter, I store up anger and resentment within me against some person (sometimes against God and sometimes against other people). Joseph could have been bitter against his brothers for the terrible thing they did to him. Was he bitter (Genesis 50:15-21)? ________ Dont let a "root of ____________________" spring up in you (Hebrews 12:15)!
9) FRETTING STOPS ME.
What is better: to tackle the problem or to worry and fret about the problem? What did the children of Israel usually do when they had a problem (Chapter 7)? See Psalm 37:1,7--"F__________ N_______" (Dont be irritated, disturbed, discontented over the things that seem unequal and unfair.)
10) FEELINGS PUT IN THE WRONG PLACE STOP ME.
When I let feelings and emotions lead me and direct me and decide for me, then I am in trouble. Feelings are to be the caboose, not the engine. The engine should be the facts of Gods Word. Gods Word should lead me and direct me and choose for me. Should I go by my feelings and do what I feel like doing; or should I go by Gods Word and do what God says?
11) WRESTLING ON MY OWN STOPS ME.
Often we try to work our problems out and wrestle our problems out by ourselves, forgetting that without Christ we can do _______________ (John 15:6). Man is always busy trying to do something himself (John 6:28) instead of simply trusting God to do it (John 6:29).
THE PROBLEMS EXIST AND PERSIST (they stay and dont go away)! WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THEM?
HERE ARE FIVE THINGS:
1) WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION (Philippians 2:12). By Gods grace, you must work out your problems. Others can help and encourage you, but they cannot do it for you.
2) WALK THROUGH THE DAYS AND YEARS AHEAD. Bravely face each new hour and each new day. Live the life God has given you. Dont hide from problems. Dont run away from problems. Face them and tackle them!
3) DONT WORRY! "Be careful (anxious, worried) for nothing" (Philippians 4:6). Those who do not have a heavenly Father can worry, but we should not! "Casting all your care (worry) upon Him, for He ________________ for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
4) WAGE A GOOD WARFARE! See 1 Timothy 6:12: "Fight the good F____________." War the good warfare! Wage a good war against each problem!
5) BE A WINNER! "Now thanks be unto God, which _______________ causeth us to ________________________ in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14). The battle is the LORD's, and God has never lost a battle yet!
If I fail to do these five things, then the problems will...
... HOUND ME
... HUNT ME and
... HAUNT ME day after day, year after year.