Do you like problems? Most people don’t. They are not at the top of my list of favorite things. They detract from my productiveness and require my time.
For most of us, the definition of happiness is the absence of problems, and yet, even after we become Christians the problems keep coming.
While I don’t like problems, I do have a better attitude toward them than when I was younger, and that’s because I’ve begun to understand the benefit of what my friend Dennis Peacocke calls “standing in the pain of the question.”
Jesus had been conducting a tent meeting healing service out in the country, it was getting late, they were far away from any place for the people to get food and the people weren’t leaving. (Matthew 14:13-21). That was a problem, the disciples knew it was a problem and so they gave the problem to Jesus to solve.
Jesus’ response? “You give them something to eat.”
Jesus didn’t immediately solve their problem. He gave them the opportunity to grapple with it and learn to be problem-solvers. He made them stand in the pain of the question.
Learning to solve problems is essential to exercising Kingdom authority on the earth because power is surrounded by problems and those who solve problems get promoted.
I don’t like problems and probably never will, but they are easier to confront recognizing the Lord uses them in the lives of Kingdom citizens to advance His kingdom on earth. GS