Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Do you ever have problems to solve? If you are like most people, life is all about solving problems. Jesus knew this when He said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock” (Matthew 7:24, 25).
Jesus said the alternative is like shoveling a foundation of sand, and then building a house on it. When a thrashing typhoon lashes it, the foundation crumbles, and the house crashes to rubble. Jesus gave a graphic picture of the foundations on which we can build our lives. The decisions we make when solving problems is how we build those foundations.
The starting place for solving problems, then, is by prayerfully discovering God’s instruction in the Bible. However, sometimes making the connection between the Bible and our specific problem is hard. Consequently, let me give you a process that will help you find powerful answers to punishing problems.
First, identify the exact problem. Sometimes problems are plain. Other times they arrive with a fury, mingled with confusion and chaos - like the torrential downpours that drench the Philippines. It is important to take time and isolate the real problem.
Second, find the cause(s) of the problem. For example, if your bills are not being paid, then perhaps your wage is too small, or money is slipping away unwisely.
Third, discover possible solutions. Imaginatively come up with as many solutions as you can. Creative brainstorming may yield new and exciting avenues you can pursue. For example, if insufficient funds are the problem, then perhaps learning money management skills would help – or taking some classes to find a better paying job.
Fourth, prayerfully pick the best solution. For this step, take up each solution, go through the pros and cons of each, and then select the one that you think will bring success. Consistently consider what Jesus had to say about the problem.
Fifth, make a clear plan to enact the best solution, and then take action. Think it through; work it out.
Sixth, evaluate your progress. Circumstances may change, you may need to adjust your plan, or, you may need to pick another solution. Keep going, change if you need to, and do not become discouraged.
Finally, build your life on the words of Jesus. You will become like that house built upon a rock that stands solid against the hammering storms that life whips our way.
Dr. Newman teaches at Faith Evangelical College & Seminary, Tacoma. He and Esmie have their website, www.Bible-teaching-about.com that includes an online Bible academy, free Bible studies, answers to questions, ebooks and paperbacks. Scripture from the New American Standard Bible, © the Lockman Foundation, 1960-73, used by permission.
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