How many times in life has a problem found you? You didn’t ask for it, but now you find yourself right in the middle of a problem at home, work, with your health, or from an unforeseen situation. The reality for all of us living on this earth is the fact that we continually will face problems until we get to heaven.
Your Mindset and Problems
To help you understand your mindset about problems, what is your definition of a problem? What words do you use to describe your problem? Do you call them difficulties, issues, struggles, troubles, trials, and punishments or do you call them challenges, tests, or opportunities? How does your choice of words help you or keep you feeling victimized?
The definition of the word problem in the dictionary is a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. This definition is mirrored by Jesus in John 16:33 NIV. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Your Options to Handle Problems
Jesus acknowledges we will have trouble and we will have to face it, just as he did. However, unlike unbelievers in the world, with Jesus living inside us, we have his peace, we have his ability to overcome the world, and we are NEVER alone!
Unfortunately, many Christians have not been taught how to use Christ’s strength in them to help them face and overcome their problems. Jesus shows us the importance of acknowledging, examining, and the steps necessary to overcome our problems through his love, example, and scripture.
We all start out as infants using our emotions and cries to alert others to our basic needs. Some of you have never grown out of the emotional reactionary demand for what we desire, want, or need, especially if people have always given into you. You may think you have control over others but in the end, you are an emotional mess. The truth is, your emotions have made a slave of you. The good news is, you can learn a new empowering mindset and behavior to free yourself from using your out-of-control emotional reactions.
Your emotions are real. God created them to let you know something is going on. However, feelings don’t have a brain. Without reason, and left unbridled, your emotions will race out of control and keep you emotionally imprisoned.
Purpose of Problems
Since there is no way to stop problems from coming your way, what is their purpose? What would happen in your life if you asked yourself, “Will I choose to see this problem as an opportunity to develop and teach me or will I choose to see this problem as something happening “to” me? When you choose this mindset you will feel victimized, punished, powerless, hopeless, and defeated? There are only two ways to choose to see a problem as an opportunity or oppression. Whatever way you choose to see your problem or opportunity is the mindset and path you will follow.
I spent many years trying to solve my domestic abuse problems on my own without having complete spiritual and mental victory. Once I discovered how to partner with Jesus and let his wisdom, love, and power flow through me, everything changed. I studied God’s word and learned how Jesus overcame his problems in the world. He lived in God’s love and knew he was His son. Jesus also knew God’s word and declared the scriptures as his truth when a problem arose.
Jesus didn’t spend his time or energy wishing, avoiding, pretending, or ignoring a problem. He knew facing his troubles with God gave him the opportunity to choose how to look at them and overcome them.
Problem or Opportunity Choice Exercise
Over the years I have developed this Problem or Opportunity Choice Exercise to help me see the truth and partner with Jesus to overcome my problems.
- Write down all your thoughts and feelings about your problem.
- Circle all the emotional words. What do all your emotions point to—new awareness and growth or blame and oppression?
- What do you gain or lose by living in your emotions?
- What are the facts and the non-emotional aspects of your problem?
- Is your problem concrete or tangible or is it worry about what “if’s.”
- Is your problem self-contained or are others involved?
- If others are part of the problem, what percentage of the problem do you own and what percentage do they own?
- Determine power and resources:
- What power or control do you have over this problem concerning your attitude, mindset, words, actions?
- Study the life of Jesus and see how he handled his emotions, mindset, attitude, words, and actions.
- Make your choice to see your problem, as oppression or opportunity?
- What will you do to follow Christ’s example to change your mindset and overcome your problem?
- Who can hold you accountable to take responsibility for your part, to let other people take theirs if necessary, and to have a Christ-like attitude, mindset, words, and actions as you allow him to develop your character and faith?
I don’t know what you were taught about problems or what you have done to overcome them in your past. All I can share with you is how I overcame the devastation, the paralyzing mindset, and the cycle of domestic abuse by following the exercise above.
Choosing to look at my problems with Jesus as an opportunity for new awareness and growth frees me to view it from his bigger perspective. Now I understand I’m a part of the river of life going through all types of terrain, weather, and obstacles or problems. I can’t take them away or myself out of my journey through the river of life. Therefore, like Jesus, I alone have the power to choose whom I will look to for wisdom, discernment, and strength. Only I have the choice to see a problem as a gift or oppression. If I choose to see it as a gift, I am determined to examine it closely to find the treasures inside. With Christ in me, he will help me discover the truth and empower me to overcome my challenges.
If you are not a believer and you have tried to overcome your problems without complete success, what have you got to lose by letting Jesus help you now? If I can help you, please contact me via email Darla@DarlaColinet.com and stay encouraged as you search for answers by following me at: https://www.facebook.com/DarlaColinetSpeaker/