This may seem an over simplification of all you have struggled with for perhaps too long – but it is not. For every problem God has a solution. The first step in solving problems is giving the problem the correct name.
As a Bible-based teacher/counselor it is not my calling to name people’s problems. It is up to them to tell me what they are experiencing. From their descriptions the problems will actually name themselves.
In the medical field we give the doctor a list of symptoms. The combined symptoms in turn name the malady – then the doctor can prescribe treatment. Likewise, the problem-laden state their symptoms then a search of God’s Word prescribes the solution – not the counselor.
To start the quest for a solution one must first fill in this blank: The Problem Is: __________________. This is not as simple as it may seem. The problem is often buried deeply within.
Depression, for example, is more often the result of the problem rather than the problem itself. To give an anti-depressant to relieve this type of depression will mask the problem not cure it. Likewise a wrong labeling of the problem by a counselor will deflect God’s Solution.
It is interesting to note that primary attempts to fill in this blank renders a list of results of the problem (symptoms} not the name of the problem itself. Just as the doctor must be trained in diagnosing the illness from a list of symptoms, a Bible-based counselor must be able to name the problem by listening to the results of the problem. To do so, they must be trained in employing God’s Word in the problem solving process.
A brief exegesis of the four-part verse, I Corinthians 10:13, supports this Bible-based tool:
Problems Are Solutions In Disguise. (I’ll write it the way I teach it in a counseling session.)
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…”
First we will deal with the word temptation. By implication the Greek word periasmos means adversity, thus, no adversity has taken you but such as is common to others. You are not the first person to experience what you are now going through.
William Shakespeare described adversity as “…being tossed on a deep troublesome sea.” In our modern vernacular, many may espouse this exact feeling saying, “Been there; done that.” The good news is others have successfully applied God’s Word and solved their problems – so can you..
This next phrase is the most important thing I have to tell you relative to problem solving:
“…but God is faithful,…”
God is faithful to what? God is faithful in all things, but in this context, He is faithful to His Word. Scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” John 1,2,14a.
In the best connotation of the word, if we employ God’s Word in solving our problems we are employing God in our problem solving process. And in principle, God can do anything but fail!
“…who will not suffer (permit) you to be tempted (to suffer adversity) above that ye are able…”
God will not force His will on anyone. Even so, for our relief, He set up a Hotline in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
In choosing not to employ Him and His Word in the problem solving process one is free to be tossed on a deep troublesome sea as long as they choose to do so. Following is God’s promise that: Problems are solutions in disguise:
“…but will with the temptation (problem) make a way to escape (solution), that ye may be able to bear (undergo hardship) it.”
Even after exposing the issues bringing on the problem and giving it a name one of two actions can follow: We can dwell on the problem, or we can dwell on the solution. The one we dwell upon grows.
If we focus on the problem the problem looms bigger.
If we focus on the solution (God’s Word) the solution appears more attainable.
The one we focus on grows.
There is no change if there is no change. If you want tomorrow to be different from yesterday, we have just learned, you must do something different today – different meaning better.
Two Natures (Author Unknown)
Two natures beat within my breast.
One is foul: one is blest.
One I love; one I hate.
The one I feed will dominate!
Problem Solving 101
The three levels of a problem are Presentation, Performance and Preconditioning. How knowing and applying this helps to expedite problem solving.
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy is Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service and on the Board of Advisors of the Virginia Christian Alliance