What can you do when you are faced with a problem that feels impossible to tackle? When the solution seems completely elusive and out of your reach?
Maybe it is the type of situation that is completely out of your control. The kind that forces you to wait and watch and feel absolutely helpless.
Maybe it’s an anxiety-producing situation that causes you to lose sleep at night. Or the kind of problem that makes you want to stomp your feet before ending up in the ugly cry.
It’s hard not to focus entirely on your circumstances, desperate for a solution even in the face of the greatest obstacle.
But isn’t that what the enemy wants? His scheme is all about stealing, killing, and destroying you, your spirit, your impact, your influence, and your life (John 10:10). What better way is there to accomplish that task but by distracting you from the promises of God and keeping you from experiencing the abundant life, even in the midst of suffering and waiting?
When we shift our gaze from worry to the One who is worthy of our full attention, our problems can shift from “what is the solution?” to “what He can make of it all?” (Romans 8:28).
It may sound overly simplified, but trusting in our sovereign God is a much better way to spend our time and exert our emotional energy. In many ways, this is exactly what the process of biblical life coaching is all about. When I work with a client, I’m looking to see:
- Where are they?
- What’s going on in their story that led up to today?
- What is God about the business of accomplishing?
- What’s the end goal?
- What is the obstacle standing in the way?
- What is God’s solution for moving forward?
These questions are at the heart of the coaching process, which focuses on finding answers that pertain to the situation. It’s the same process we can use one-on-one with the Lord as we tackle everyday problems through becoming aware of the obstacles and circumstances, identifying clear vision, and seeking God-ordained solutions:
Steal away for some time alone with the Lord to talk-write-pray about your situation, as it is and what it is doing to you. Describe the reality of the situation along with your emotional response. If you’re struggling with sin that is related to this situation, confess it to the Lord. Look for signs of sin in the overflow of your heart through what you’re saying and, maybe not saying, but thinking, such as anger, bitterness, or resentment. Take stock of life and lay it before the throne of our immovable God.
Take time to think beyond the problem by considering these questions:
- What do you think would be the ideal solution?
- How would you solve this problem?
- Where do you want to be in ____ days or months or years from now?
- How might the Lord use this in your life? In someone else’s life?
- Are you standing in the way of God accomplishing His purposes through this situation?
- Could there be a side of this problem that you don’t understand from God’s perspective, and may never understand, but would be willing to trust Him with anyway?
- Is it possible that your focus on this problem might actually be keeping you from experiencing the good God has in store for you?
Switching up your focus from problem to solution requires a plan — or a decision — on your part to look at life from a different perspective. To come up with a plan that works for you, consider these possibilities:
- What is the primary influence on your life that may be causing you to focus on the problem? Can you put up a boundary on that influence?
- Are you spending time reading your Bible daily so that you can grow in understanding the character of God and thereby increasing your faith in regards to His perfect plan?
- What Scripture verses can you memorize as a way to do battle against the worry over this problem?
- Is there someone who can hold you accountable to confessing your sin (anger, unforgiveness, bitterness) as it becomes a problem?
- Who can you pray with about this problem on a regular basis to gain support and encouragement?
- Could you begin a thankful journal or list to help you shift your focus from the problem?
- Have you yielded this situation to God?
When the situation in your life is immovable, turn to the One Who Is Sovereign Over All with your whole heart, mind, and soul.
As you draw near into His presence, you’ll find a hope that fills your life in spite of your circumstances. The more you cling to the faithfulness of God to provide for you, even in the mess, the more you’ll be able to withstand the wearisome journey without being defeated at every turn by the tactics of the enemy.
Stand strong, my friend. Do not grow weary with the troubles of this world. You have an immovable God who is waiting for you to turn to Him and find your hope in His plans.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me.
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