Points covered: Handling your problems in tough times. God is in your problem, God is in control, God is bigger than your problem, Do not give-up, Seeking God amid your problem. Faith in times of problem.
We all face challenges and problems in life. Becoming a Christian does not mean that it is the end of your problem. It means that you have a great resource in helping your solve your problems. Sometimes there are small issues in life, sometimes they get pretty big, and other times they seem rather insurmountable and almost impossible. So they are problems in life. The issue is when they come how do I handle them? Well people respond in different ways, and often times the wrong way.
Today I want to show you how to face every single problem that comes your way in the right way.
Well, there is a way for handling our problems and God in his word gives us solution to handle our problems. Come with me to the Book of 2 Chronicles.
Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah.
2 Chronicles 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
2 Chronicles 19:6-7 6He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. 7Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
2 Chronicles 19:9 He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.
He is a godly king and God has blessed Judah in lots of ways.
So now he is reigning well and he gets this bad news. 2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
So here are three armies together against Jehoshaphat. They are outnumbered 3:1. So, how does he respond? In looking at his response and eventual victory, we find a pattern for all of us who are facing problems whether big or small that can lead us to victory. So I want you to listen carefully because every crisis has a pattern and there is a key to solve it.
So here is the first thing to know when you are in a crisis:
1. God is in your problem.
You are his child and God personally takes interest in every single aspect of your life, no matter what it maybe. Whatever your problem may be, God is interested in you and your problem.
I know some of you are going through a tough time in your life. Maybe it came all of a sudden and you do not know how to respond. I want to tell you, no matter how large or how small or how painful your problem is, God is interested in what you are going through in life now.
See how God is speaking in trouble in the Bible:
Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 9:9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
Those verses just underline the fact that God is interested in every single aspect of our life. So whatever my problem, however big or small, I can start out with this bottom-line promise, God is interested in my crisis.
2. God is bigger than your problem.
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Look at the comparison between God and our problem. God is awesome God and our problem is nothing is too difficult for him. He is bigger than that problem no matter what it is. That means he can handle our problem.
Again God asks the question: Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? The answer is no.
If you are wrenched deep within you with hurt, pain suffering, loss, fear, anxiety; child of God I can say to you, “God is interested in what you are going through. He is interested in what is defeating you, discouraging you, depressing you, disheartening you.” God is interested and he is greater than that, therefore you can trust him to do something about it.
Now I want to tell you the position we ought to take in a crisis. Usually our first response is fear. Jehoshaphat feared in his circumstances. 2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, (Fear is the natural response to a crisis but thank God in the midst of his fear he sought the Lord.)
3. Seek the Lord.
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord…. Seeking the Lord was his habit, that was something that he did all the time.
2 Chronicles 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.
Now when Jehoshaphat heard about what was happening, he did not get all of his generals together and said, “Ok let us know how we can defend Judah.” He did not do that. He had a conference with Almighty God. He asked God the direction as to how they should respond.
Now just think for yourself: What is the first word that comes out of your mouth when you face a crisis? It should be God, father, or Jesus. When you say Father, you have already set a sense of direction, you are inviting in all of his power and might into your life to deal with this issue.
Isn’t it true that people go to all kinds of extremes first to find a solution to something and then as a last resort they finally go to God? This should be our first choice. Now what happens if you talk to people first? The more you talk to people, the bigger the problem gets. The more you talk to people, the more confused you get. Seek the Lord in your crisis.
How can we seek the Lord?
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
a. Fasting and prayer.
In Mark 9, Jesus explained that prayer and fasting together were a source of significant spiritual power. Mark 9:28-29 28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Jeremiah 29:12-14 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
Prayer and fasting draw us closer to the heart of God, and they put us more in line with His power. Fasting is a powerful expression of our total dependence on Him.
Our prayers are to be God-centered. See often times people pray like this: “Oh Lord you know my problem, they did this, she did that, they spoke this, I lost this, I am in this situation etc.”
Our prayers are to be God-centered, not problem centered. Listen how Jehoshaphat prayed and see all the references to God. 2 Chronicles 20:6-7 6And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 7Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?
2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
His prayer was about God; his power and his might, what he had done in the past and trusting God for what he is going to do now.
b. Fellowship of Saints.
See what Judah did in their crisis: They gathered together to seek the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. Often times when a problem comes people try to keep away from fellowship, God wants us to seek him in corporate fellowship.
Now, whenever a problem comes to your life here is your position: You are a child of God and all the promises of God and the power of God are for you. So you understand God is in your problem, God is bigger than your problem, and you seek him in your problem. Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. So what we have is this awesome promise that God is interested and God will do something about it.
Now watch this: When you begin to seek the Lord in your crisis here is what happens, your problems gets stunted. They get smaller and smaller and smaller for the simple reason God is becoming larger and larger and larger in your thinking.
4. Be open for godly counsel.
Sometimes when we seek the Lord, God may speak to us directly. But often times when you pray to God, God will involve people to help you.
Pastor, you said don’t seek other people’s advice. I never said don’t take other people’s advice, what is said is you seek the Lord first and God will show you who to go to. If he wants someone to involve with you in your problem, he will either send them or show them to you. The problem is, some are so proud to open to others and they want to solve their problem by themselves.
You see one of the greatest treasures in our life is the treasure of godly friends, people who love God. Who know how to pray, who talk to the Father. So the question is do you have anybody you can share your problems with who will not share it to somebody else? That is why we have the cell meetings, mens and women’s fellowship, prayers at church.
Matthew 18:19-20 19“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
2 Chronicles 20:13-15 13All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord. 14Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 15He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”
Now God sometimes gives the solution to the person whom you are praying with. Here in the midst of all these people praying, God raises up one man and he told Jehoshaphat exactly what he needed to hear. It is not your battle, it is God’s battle. This is why we need to have godly friends. This is why we need to seek the Lord with others. So be open for godly counsel.
5. God has a perfect time to solve your problem.
God has a solution for all the troubles you are going through. God has timely deliverances in your life. You say, “Well I do believe God answers but sometimes he does not always answer when I want him to, my answers are getting delayed.”
Sometimes God may delay the answer. It is not because God does not care. One of the reason he delays our answer is to prepare us from the inside. He predestined you to be in the likeness of his son. Sometimes he is purifying our life, changing us, dealing with our thoughts, motives of our life, so the delay. So when I pray and pray and do not get a solution, look at the inside and see what needs to be changed in my lifestyle. God will not allow you to get by with your sin and give you what you want. So deal with what God is dealing in your life and wait for God’s time.
6. God’s solution usually requires an act of faith.
As I think about what I faced in life, all problems challenge my faith in some fashion.
Here God said, “The battle is not yours. Assemble the choir, assemble the orchestra and then behind them array your army and you march behind as the choir sings and praises the Lord.”
The choir was going to face the battle with their army behind them. It did take active faith because it is totally unreasonable. Sometimes in order to accomplish his full purpose in our life in a given problem, God is going to ask us to do something this is totally unreasonable.
Remembered what God said to Joshua. If you want to win over Jericho, here is what you do, march around the city 7 days, on the seventh day march seven times with the sound of trumpets and shout and the wall is coming down.
Some of you are in the verge of a breakthrough, but you need to act in faith for what God is leading you.
Listen, if God is telling you to do sometime unreasonable, then God is going to give you a surge of faith. I praised God Jehoshaphat and his people trusted God. They marched, they sang and what did God do? He confused the enemy so that the two of them attached each other, so when one army was wiped out the third one attached the surviving one and all the enemy dead. When the nation of Judah got there, all the enemy were dead.
Supposed Judah said, no way, we are going to trust you God but we are going to fight. It would have been a disastrous battle. There would have been a horrible defeat. Sometimes God will ask us to do something unreasonable, but if he tells you to do it, the victory is already won. When he tells you to do it, he will not end you up in defeat.
So the issue is, “Am I going to trust him?” When it is impossible and difficult, am I going to trust him?
7. God’s solution is always the best.
No matter what the problem might be, you can never solve it like God can solve it. You only know what you see and how you feel. God has a solution and God’s solution is always the best one if you are willing to trust him.
Conclusion: So whatever you are facing in life today, do you believe that God is interested in your pain and your suffering. Do you believe that God is bigger than that? Do you believe that God wants to solve it? Are you willing for God to solve it his way in his timing? Are you willing to surrender your life to him and seek him?
Problems can be awesome pathways to spiritual growth that good times can never provide. Everybody is going through one and in the world that we live, almost all have problems. The tragedy is they don’t know what to do about it but you and I know how to respond.
Let’s pray, “Lord I commit my crisis to you. I don’t get it, I don’t understand it all but I know that you are an awesome God with power. I know that you know everything that needs to be known that I don’t understand. I don’t like your timing, but I am going to trust you, I am going to obey, I am going to watch you working in my life. This is an opportunity for me to see your power in my life and for me to learn more about you. Grow and understand you better in a deeper way.”