For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and send rain on the jut and the unjust alike. – Matthew 5:45 NLT
Let’s get one thing straight. You are going to have problems and likely more than one in a lifetime. God never promised anyone a life without problems. In fact, Matthew 5:45 pretty much tells us that. While problems are caused by someone or something outside of yourself. Issues are internal. They affect you. They are sometimes caused by you. The resolution will require your participation.
Health issues require you to take better care of yourself. Health problems require medical intervention. Mental and psychological problems require a pharmacological treatment, while emotional issues are best addressed with behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes. Issues and problems are related. They’re cousins but they are not the same.
The Bible is filled with people who have issues and problems. When problems arose, God often came through with a solution like pulling a coin from a fish to pay taxes or feeding 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. In contrast, when people had issues God often told them to keep it moving. Remember Paul’s thorn? God refused to remove it because His grace was sufficient. Moses and his stutter? God said, “So?” Gideon and his measly 300? God said, “Go!” Our issues are not an impediment to God’s plan. However, our refusal to acknowledge and deal with them can be an obstacle to the abundant life God wants us to enjoy.
God uses the foolish things to shame the wise. You don’t need to be perfect. But you do need to be healed. The woman in Mark 5 is known as the woman with the issue of blood. She had been to numerous doctors and had suffered for twelve years. When she heard about Jesus, she went to him. Have you been to Jesus about your issues or are you still pretending that they don’t exist? Still think you can stop doing that one thing anytime you want? Still hiding that other thing from those closest to you? Are you refusing to accept that you need help in some area of your life? You might need to take a page from the woman with the issue and go to Jesus.
Don’t be afraid to admit your issues. Paul said to boast in your weakness “so that the power of Christ can work through” you. God can use you with a limp, a stutter, or whatever issue you have. But, only if you say “yes” to God and ask him to help.
“I’ve been praying but…”
My first question to you is…Do you really want to change? If you don’t really have a strong conviction to change then start there. Pray this prayer: “Lord, I know I’m wrong but I like this. Help me to see it the way you do so I’ll want to change.” God is not going to change an unwilling heart.
What about Saul? He became Paul.
When Paul (then Saul) was on his way to Damascus to kill and arrest Christians he believed he was doing what was right for God. That’s why Jesus appeared to him on the road. If you think you’re right, but keep God in the plan, He’ll correct you if you’re wrong. You know of the scripture, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Issues are a part of life. Everybody has issues– at least one, probably more. Admit your issues and then ask God for help. Don’t hide from him the way Adam and Eve did in the garden. Besides, you’re not really hiding. You know that, right? God sees everything but He has given us the choice to respond to Him or not. So take a minute right now and tell him…
“Dear God, I’ve got issues.”