Thank God that I have a problem! Isn’t it great?!
For the average person, relishing problems seems sadistic. Only crazy people like problems, right?
Not for the person living the Song Lifestyle.
The person living the Song Lifestyle looks at problems as opportunities to trust in their Eternal Lover, the one-and-only Yeshua, aka Jesus of Nazareth who lived, died, and lives again in the hearts of mankind and the spiritual universe we call Heaven.
Graham Cooke, author of the book “Qualities of A Spiritual Warrior” and other books, teaches about problems in a great teaching called “I’ve got a problem today ” (which is from a much longer teaching). He says that “every problem comes with a promise and a provision…problems are now possibilities.”
The Song Lifestyle looks at problems as possibilities because God always uses our problems as a way of turning our focus on Him and showing us just how good He really is. This is not some strong armed way that God gets us to consider Him. He’s a good father. He’s a loyal Lover. He takes our circumstances and proves Himself to us. God will always, always turn bad into good. In a recent Facebook post by Johnny Enlow he said, “It’s not over until it’s good.”
Your problem does have a solution. His name is Jesus. Your problem is not over until it’s good. This does not mean that each and every problem you have will be miraculously fixed with angelic visitations and the sounding of trumpets and ethereal choir music! Sometimes when the car breaks down you just need to call a mechanic. If you lose your job, you need to find another one by networking. But God will make it all work out for the best. And many times God does work a miracle! There are just so many miracles that are easily overlooked.
I can’t count how many times God has rescued us from something terrible and the solution looked like something natural. This is where attitude and a spirit of praise comes in handy. When problems come, we look to Jesus for the solution. We turn our minds, fully transformed, to Him. This is not sticking our heads in the sand and wishing all our woes away. This is looking at our problem dead center in the eyes and saying, “Not today, worrisome issues; NOT today.”
Problems are on every side of us all the time. We can choose to look at them and let them consume us or we can look at Jesus instead. The solution will come with either a lot of Heavenly fanfare with trumpets, confetti, and the fluttering of wings or it’ll come looking a lot like wisdom, grace, mercy, or even…dare I say it? Dumb luck!
You, as a Christ Follower, are surrounded by and filled with favor from Mr. Happy Himself. Every place you set your foot the imprint of Heaven is there. You are walking-talking favor of the Lord. That is part of your identity. Repeat after me: I am the very favor of the Lord.
That’s great, but you’ve got it all figured out. You probably don’t have problems, do you?
That’s what you’re thinking. This Song Lifestyle guy has it made. All he does is sit around all day thinking of what he’s gonna blog about every Monday and Thursday…
We recently sold our house. It’s great news! We also feel like we’re supposed to leave the state. It’s something we’ve been praying about and expecting for years. Where’s the problem, you ask. Here: Our house sold last month, we close in mid-April, I still work until June, we need a short-term rental in a market where there is nothing relatively affordable because our economy is based on seasonal retirees and rents are through the roof this time of year, I have to take several major tests to switch my teaching license, I have to get a job, find a new house, and potentially fight with my oldest daughter’s biological father.
All of this in less than three months. Did I mention grad school? I’m also in grad school. Oh, wait, I also have a book coming out in the fall that I’m working on, and another book I’m hopefully releasing before summer, and I’ve got another in the works, and an idea burning in me for another one.
All of them.
I’m not perfect. I get overwhelmed. I send frantic texts to my wife telling her that none of it can be done. I text my friends and ask them to light a candle, say a prayer, buy a prayer cloth, douse me in oil… But at the end of the day when it’s quiet in the house, and I’m here in front of the computer next to a stack of laundry on the kitchen table, and the ceiling fan is making that annoying clicking noise I know that it’s all going to work out.
Because it worked out for Elijah. He’s my favorite prophet, btw.
1 Kings 18 tells a terrific story of how Elijah was going to be killed by this crazy dude named Ahab. Ahab was the leader of some insane other god worshipers and they wanted to prove that their god Baal was better than Mr. Eternal. Elijah could have ran out of there. He maybe could have sweet talked his way out of the situation. He probably could have asked God to rescue him and He would have rend the Heavens and come down swinging; that’s not what happened though. Elijah told them that they would put their gods to a test and see which one answers.
They built an alter and put a sacrifice on it and then Ahab’s men went at it. They yelled and screamed. They cut themselves and proclaimed. Nothing happened. Elijah yawned and said, “Shout louder! Maybe [your god] is sleeping and must be awakened (1 Kings 18:27 NIV).”
When Ahab’s boys had enough, it was Elijah’s turn. He had the alter and the sacrifice covered in water and then he said to God, “O Lord…let it be known today that you are god in Israel and that I am your servant and have doen all these things at your command…answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are god, and that you are turning their hearts back again (vs. 36-37).”
God did it. Fire fell from heaven and licked up the sacrifice and all the water. Ahab and his devil loving friends were astonished and cried out, “The Lord–he is God! (39).” They completely freaked out.
The story doesn’t end there. It’s epic, but we’ll stop there for the purposes of this blog post.
God will come through for you just like He came through for Elijah. And He’ll do it so that you can prove to everyone around you that He’s not dead. Notice that in verse 37 Elijah acknowledges that God is turning Ahab’s friend’s hearts back again. Your problem isn’t necessarily about you. You are a Christ Follower. You’ve got the solution to your problems already. There are others that need to see your good and glorious Cloud Surfer come through for you so THEIR faith is activated. Stop thinking it’s all about you.
Rest in the goodness of Jesus and it’ll all work out. Ask for wisdom and it’ll be freely given (James 1:5). Treat your problems as opportunities to see God work wonders in your life and the lives of those around you.
And don’t forget: worship and praise changes the atmosphere and builds faith. Being overwhelmed=opportunity to adore Him.