Summary: Trust God in the midst of problems—put people and situations in God’s hands

Summary: Trust God in the midst of problems—put people and situations in God’s hands

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Trust God in the Midst of Problems

Put people and situations into God's hands

 

 

 

Doug Britton, MFT
www.dougbrittonbooks.com

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Part four of a four-part series on “Growing through Problems”

Introduction

Most of us go through life controlled by our feelings. When things go well, we feel great. When things don’t go well, we feel terrible. That’s normal. God understands that, and he helps us through these times.

Something that helps me go through painful situations is to learn to see through God’s eyes.

Pray to see through God’s eyes

Paul wrote that we are seated with Christ “in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6). I love this verse. When I think about it, I imagine being seated beside Christ in the heavenly realms and looking down at what’s going on. When I try to look at things through Jesus’ eyes, it helps me grasp the big picture and not get so caught up in my problems.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)

Jesus knows the past and the future. He is there to walk with you in good times as well as bad. As you read in part 3 of this series, good things can come out of hardship and suffering.

Paul saw the big picture and realized that spreading the Gospel was more important than anything else. He could have been upset and discouraged when he was thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel. Instead, he rejoiced.

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. (Philippians 1:12-14)

When we see through Jesus’ eyes, we see things from his perspective. We know that even if we suffer here on earth, God has an amazing future in mind for us.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17-18)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

What do you think?

1. What does it mean to see things through God’s eyes? How can this help you?

2. How can looking forward to eternity with God help in our times of trouble?

Trust God

Have you ever participated in a trust-building exercise? It can be a little scary. A typical trust-building exercise works like this: Imagine that you are with a group of friends or co-workers, and you are asked to close your eyes and fall backwards—into what you hope are their waiting arms.

You might be pretty sure they will catch you, but you might be nervous, wondering if they will drop you or trick you by letting you fall.

As you have gone through life, you probably have discovered that it’s hard to trust anyone 100 percent of the time. No matter how perfect your best friends might seem to be, they will sometimes disappoint you or do things wrong.

But there is one we can trust 100 percent, no matter how bad our circumstances might be, and that is God himself. He loves us more than anyone loves us.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

What do you think?

3. What does it mean to trust God?

4. Do you have trouble trusting God? Explain your answer.

Put people and situations into God’s hands.

It’s easy to take too much responsibility for the results. This is often true when we are trying to help a family member or friend who is going through a difficult time. We want to make sure that things work out—that he or she is happy, healthy, and safe.

Pray about others’ problems and ask God to show you what actions you should take to help them, but don’t think you are responsible for the results. For example, if an adult family member is spending money foolishly or making other bad decisions, be a good friend but don’t think you need to continually help him or her. Be ready to put people and situations into God’s hands.

Make it personal

5. Have you ever taken too much responsibility for someone else’s happiness? Explain your answer.

6. Do you agree that sometimes we need to put people into God’s hands and not take responsibility for their happiness? Why or why not?

Pray for freedom from fear.

It’s normal to feel afraid when going through hard times, yet as you learn to trust God you can break free from fear.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:24)

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Live one day at a time.

Don’t waste emotional energy wondering what might happen tomorrow. Instead, focus on dealing with today’s issues. Trust God for tomorrow.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

Related: Living life as an adventure

Trust God no matter what happens.

When you keep an eternal perspective, you know that God can take you through any situation, no matter what happens. As you read in part 2 of this series, even if you are not miraculously delivered from your problems, God is with you.

Read what Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

Paul knew that with God’s help, he could handle any situation in which he found himself.

Related: Depend on God’s power, not your own

What do you think?

7. What does “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13) mean?

8. How can this realization help us when we go through problems?

Respond to problems with a spirit of adventure

When you face problems, don’t get mad, sink into depression, or give up. Instead, ask God to help you respond with a spirit of adventure, looking at obstacles as opportunities to represent Jesus and share his love. For example:

  • If someone criticizes Christianity, don’t respond with anger. Instead, see it as an opportunity to share the Gospel.
  • If others are mean to you, make it a project to demonstrate God’s love to them through your words and actions.
  • If you need to confront someone, see it as an opportunity to speak in love and help him or her instead of yelling or getting angry.

Stay close to God

The closer you are to God, the better prepared you are to respond to problems. As you go through life—whether or not you are facing hardships—make sure you practice these key spiritual priorities:

Read the Bible every day.

The Bible is amazing. It tells us the story of Jesus and shows us how to live an abundant, full life. Plus, God’s Spirit changes us supernaturally as we read it.

Make it personal

9. Read Psalm 119:9-11. How often do you read the Bible?

10. Should you read the Bible more often? If so, what changes will you make?

Pray daily.

Praying is talking to God and it is listening to God. Imagine trying to get to know someone without ever talking to that person. It’s the same with God. We need to talk to him daily. When you wake up, take a few minutes to pray. Thank God for loving you, ask him to help you love him more, and pray for other people’s needs.

Make it personal

11. Read Colossians 4:2. How often do you pray?

12. Should you pray more often? If so, what changes will you make?

Fellowship with other believers.

The Bible says we are all part of one body (Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). We need to spend time together, encouraging one another.

Make it personal

13. Read Hebrews 10:25. How often do you get together with other believers?

14. Should you get together more often? If so, what changes will you make?

Memory verse

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)

Personal application

1. What does it mean to “see through God’s eyes”?

2. How can this help you when you go through difficult times?

3. What does it mean to trust God?

4. Does trusting God mean you can be sure you will be miraculously delivered? Explain your answer.

5. How can looking forward to spending eternity with God help in your times of trouble?

6. Are you responsible to make sure others are happy? Why or why not? What is your responsibility?

7. What is one difficult situation you are facing now? How can you respond to it with a spirit of adventure?

8. Say a prayer asking God to help you keep an eternal perspective when going through problems.

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Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com for practical, biblical, cross-cultural books, Bible studies, and ebooks.

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