Is the economy dragging you down? Would your life be happier if certain people weren’t a part of it? Your circumstances in the problem department probably aren’t much different than were Nehemiah’s.
Nehemiah had a negative situation—his hometown was laid waste and the local residents weren’t too eager to address the problem. So Nehemiah did what any God follower would do; he fasted, prayed and reminded God of his promises. Then he listened carefully to God’s directions and proceeded to rebuild Jerusalem. God’s plan lacked some of the things Nehemiah needed, mainly enough workers and a neighborhood support group, but Nehemiah forged ahead anyway.
Like Nehemiah, we face difficult situations, many of them economical, some relational, and others physical. Proverbs 27:12 reminds us to look for problems and prepare to meet them. We gather information about a stressful situation so we can bring definition to what we are facing, but once a dilemma is identified, we fix our attention on God’s promises and power.
A correct focus is the difference between a problem centered person and a promise centered person. This isn’t denial, but faith. Developing faith depends on what information is getting the most attention from us. Are we consumed with the situation we’re facing, or are we consumed with God’s promises? This is important because without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Solving our problems is not God’s primary aim. He is more concerned with building a person of faith then in erasing our troubles. If there is no obstacle, there is no need for faith.
Note how Habakkuk defined his problem, yet focused his attention in the right direction:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights . . .” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV).
What promises has God given you for your present problems?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis