The Problem Solver

by Jerry Senn

The philosophy of many in our day – maybe all of us at times – is to focus on obstacles rather than on opportunities. We need to see things as they can be, rather than anticipating only bad results when we face problems.

Consider Elisha when he woke up one day surrounded by his enemies. His servant looked at them and said to Elisha, “what are we going to do?” Elisha calmly said, “Don’t worry, because those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” When the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, he saw the whole mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha. God’s promises sustain sincere faith.

Of course the enemy posed great danger to Elisha and the city of Dothan, but Elisha saw the dilemma as an opportunity to deal with the enemy with God’s help – a test of his faith to bring a great victory over a pesky Syrian king. (See 2 Kings 6:8).

Elisha focused on the problem solver instead of the problem, because he saw an opportunity rather than an obstacle, anticipating victory not defeat.

“An army sergeant expressed the same idea. In the heat of the battle, he gathered his troops around him. ‘All right, men,’ he declared with confidence, ‘we are completely surrounded by the enemy. Let’s not let a single one of them escape.'”

The beginning of this New Year is an excellent time for each of us to experience an attitude adjustment or two. Let’s start with a personal inventory. How can we face life with confidence and assurance that God is with us?

  1. Begin by thinking of resources available to each of us. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
  2. Study the lives of those who were solvers of problems, Moses, David, Paul.
  3. Spend time with the Father, sharing fearful thoughts, asking His help.
  4. Seek the company of positive, enthusiastic, faithful people.
  5. Talk to yourself as you read God’s Word, listening intently for His promises.
  6. Choose to say to yourself every day,

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” — Psalm 118:24

Let’s open our eyes in this New Year!!!