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Problem Solving

May 14th, 2012

“Outside were conflicts, insider were fears. Nevertheless, God . . ” 2 Corinthians 7:5 NKJV

Successful people study possibilities, then strategize ways to succeed.

My thoughts and comments today are about “problem solving.”

A lot of success in life begins with your perspective. Do you look at a problem and decide that you can’t solve it? Or do you look at the problem but see the possibilities, however remote they appear, and determine maybe you can? Some people just naturally focus on problems and choose an easier way; successful people study the possibilities and strategize ways to succeed. Every problem you face will be accompanied by voices that suggest you are not able. Sometimes that is the voice of others; other times, it may be your own. Paul described such an occasion, “We were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless, God . .” 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 NKJV. Your problem is bigger than you thought if you do not include God.

David was crowned as King over Judah, the two southern tribes of Israel. Then he was recognized as King over the northern ten tribes of Israel. King David was faced with a seemingly impossible problem. Read 2 Samuel 5:1-10 NKJV. An old enemy inhabited a fortress that was critical to his occupying Jerusalem, the capital of the nation. The Jebusites who occupied Zion were confident that their fortified walls were impenetrable. They taunted David and his soldiers, “You’ll never get in here. Even the blind and lame could keep you out.” The walls were high, the enemy powerful, and their voices intimidating. This stronghold was a problem.

David looked at the problem honestly, and then studied the possibilities. Every problem can hold a possibility, but every possibility also has a problem that you must face, solve, and overcome. You can do that if you will. Rather than attacking the walls that were strong and heavily guarded, he discovered that his soldiers could enter the city through the water tunnel and overcome its defenders. He faced the facts that were daunting, but found truth that was empowering. “Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion!” 2 Samuel 5:7 NIV. Where others saw walls to keep them out; David saw tunnels to let them in. That’s problem solving at its best.

In his campaign for the presidency in 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy, adapted a quote from George Bernard Shaw (1925 Nobel Prize for Literature), “There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, ‘why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘why not?’” That’s problem solving. Perspective is either your problem, or where you will find your possibility. See Mark 10:27 NLT. Looking at the same thing in the same way brings you to the same conclusion. Perspective lets you see what was unseen and believe for what was not previously considered. I appreciate this definition of Godly wisdom: “the ability to see your situation from God’s eternal perspective.” What changes could you expect in everyday life if you did that?

What is the problem you face today? What is the stronghold that blocks your achievement – a losing battle with an old habit – a lack of resource – your limited ability – brooding anger – fearfulness – little faith – personal failure? Your God is stronger than every enemy, knows the way through every obstacle, and possesses every resource you will need. Paul’s confidence can be yours, “We use God’s mighty weapons . . to knock down the devil’s strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT. Use your head sensibly, but always listen to God in your heart as well.

My prayer for you today is that you look for God’s possibilities in any problem you confront.

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