How to solve problems (1)
To reach the Promised Land the Israelites had to ‘go around the land of Edom’ (v. 4 NKJV). This made their journey much longer, and ‘the people became very discouraged on the way’. There’s a lesson here. The best way to escape a problem is to solve it. Between you and your ‘promised land’ you’ll face issues that have to be resolved. Recognising obstacles for what they are – temporary tests of your resolve, ability, and faith in God – won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to handle them. So let’s discuss problem solving. First, recognise that you’ll always have problems. A university student sent this email to his mum at the end of term: ‘Dropped out of uni, coming home tomorrow. Prepare Dad.’ The email he got back said, ‘Dad prepared. Prepare yourself!’ Al Davis, who owned the Oakland Raiders American football team, said: ‘A great leader doesn’t treat problems as special. He treats them as normal. If you’re working, expect problems. If you’re dealing with family, expect problems. If you’re just minding your own business and trying to relax, expect problems. If everything goes according to plan, then be pleasantly surprised. If it doesn’t, and you’ve planned accordingly, you won’t get so frustrated. A problem not anticipated is a problem. A problem anticipated is an opportunity.’ Paul said, ‘To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…be glory…forever’ (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV). The problem you’re facing today is just an opportunity for God to do for you or through you what you can’t do by yourself.