ARE YOU FACING TOUGH PROBLEMS?

A crisis occurs in your life; how do you handle it?  If you are a Christian, realize that the Holy Spirit either allows it or causes it to happen.  God knows everything about us and He has a plan and purpose for our lives.  He knows exactly what we need to endure to build our faith, make us more Christ-like or prepare us for His future plan.

Problems can be personal, such as addiction, abuse, fear, anxiety or depression. They can be dreaded or approached with a positive attitude. Some will try to ignore problems, run from them, take drugs or let them fester inside.  There are individuals who try to carry the world on their shoulders.  They worry about the problems in the Middle-East, North Africa and radioactivity coming from Japan. They are concerned that the stock market is going to crash; that banks are going to fail and they hide money under their mattress.  They fret about global warming and the protection of insects. Bring it on—so I have something to worry about!

People often deal with problems differently. Problems may be opportunities to some and challenges to others.  The way we approach and handle problems can affect us physically.  God created us with certain chemicals in our system.  How we see life and how we deal with problems could affect our body’s cells and our potential health.  We can react positively, maintaining peace and joy in our hearts or negatively and get a migraine headache.

I believe God prepared me to write this information.  I have dealt with crisis in many different ways.  I spent four years in the Navy prior to college.  I had trials as a high school coach.  There were emergency situations during the summers as a production foreman for Bird’s Eye Frozen Foods.  I was in nine stores with Montgomery Ward and 23 years as a store manager.  I encountered hundreds of customer complaints.  Since 1987 I have been an investment advisor and have seen the stock market take a 56% decrease in 2008-09. I have had thousands of employees and over 500 clients who have faced problems, stress and disappointments.

In 1984 I had a heart attack and by-pass surgery.  It happened again in 2005 with another attack and by-pass.  Since 1997 I have dealt with prostate cancer.  I write this information to also share with you, how God has provided me with some wisdom and increased my faith.  He takes away fear, provides joy and a calmness in dealing with life’s situations.  Hopefully, sharing with you what God taught me will be useful in dealing with tough problems.

I became a Christian in 1953 and every time I read James 1:2 I couldn’t understand how we could have joy going through tough times.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”  When I was going through trials I didn’t sense any joy, I was miserable. However, the more I studied my Bible the more it seemed to make sense.  Knowing that God knew I needed to witness these problems if I was going to be what He wanted me to be. I finally accepted that no matter what happened He either caused it or allowed it and His Spirit was there to help me through it.  In every situation I learned through that experience.  It made me capable of handling in the future more and more tough problems.

Scripture taught me that I needed to have my faith tested from time to time.  The more I was tested the greater my faith became.  Each time I was tempted of some pleasurable experience and resisted, I sensed I was growing spiritually.  Every time I encounter a problem I accepted that it was God’s way of teaching me something.  I would take that experience and prepare that it not happen again.  Knowing God was either causing or allowing things to happen so that He could help me through these trials I found that joy and calmness James was writing about.  I then started to realize that God was preparing me for the future.  I have taught Bible classes for many years and shared with others.  Then I was encouraged to write bi-weekly blogs that I have for three years.  I have written one book and just about finished on my second one.  Had I not faced tough problems and many trials and seeing God intervene I could not tell you how blessed I have been to know that I sense God with me at all times.

Do you as a Christian realize that the God Who created the universe has given you His Spirit to help you throughout your life?  Knowing this should give you that joy that James talks about when you encounter trials.  You can tell a youngster not to touch a hot stove.  Sometimes the only way they learn is to touch it and get burned.  Chances are they won’t do it again. God knows what we need to learn so we can be what He wants us to be.

I Peter 1:6 & 7 – “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

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