The Trouble with Problems

The trouble with problems is they don’t want to go away. No one is immune to problems. You have problems,  I have problems, we all have problems, but it is what we do when problems surface that most always determines the outcome. Let me explain. Problems are like trees in that they can become so deeply rooted in our life it will take a lot of work to remove them. The key word in this last statement is work. If we do not search for a solution to our problem, we will not find one. However, there is a solution for all of our problems just like there is a solution for all math problems. We may not have the answer right now, but there is an answer. We just have to keep looking until we find it.

Let’s take a look at how Jesus took care of a problem and in the story I am going to tell a little bit later we will see He is illustrating for His disciples how the problems they will encounter after He is gone are to be dealt with. First of all the part of the problem we see, ie, our pains, our bills, our whatever, is not the part of the problem that is causing us the most difficulty. Those things are only what we see, and if we keep our eyes focused on that portion of the problem we will never discover the root cause of it and we will never solve it. The part of the problem that is causing us the most trouble is just out of our line of sight.

Let me explain by taking a look at how a tree grows as representing our problems. The part of the tree we see is not what feeds the leaves and branches of the tree. What we see above ground needs sunlight and heat to maintain that green look, but it’s the root system we don’t see below ground that keeps the tree alive by supplying it with water and nutrients it picks up from below ground. The longer the tree is allowed to remain, it will continue to grow and produce leaves and new branches year after year until it passes the growing stage and finally dies. Even if you cut the tree down, the stump with the root system attached will grow new branches and sprout new leaves and before long that tree will be just about as big as it ever was. Our problems work the same way. Our problem like the tree is fed by that which we can’t see, but yet supplies the nourishment the problem needs to grow and maintain itself.

Now let’s get to the story I talked about a few lines ago. The story is found in the gospel of Mark, chapter 11, verses 12-14. Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He (Jesus) was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response, Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it. Now let’s fast forward to the next day and beginning in verse 20 of the same chapter; “Now in the morning, as they passed by they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away.” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.” For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  The first thing Jesus told them to do was to, “Have faith in God.” Why is that important? If we are born again, we are the children of God, and we understand that our Father is greater than any problem we will ever face. The problem in this story is, the fig tree had no figs on it, therefore it wasn’t fulfilling its role in life. It served no useful purpose and it was stealing resources from the other trees in the vincinity possibly restricting their growth and fruit bearing. Do you realize no problem ever serves a useful purpose. Problems are distractions designed to take our eyes and mind off of what we want and need to do. We know this next statement is true even though we don’t often think about it; problems always affect more people than just ourselves. So you can bet Jesus wasn’t the only person who had visited this fig tree and found no figs on it. But He did something about the problem. He could have taken a shovel and dug around the roots of the fig tree until He dislodged the tree, but that would have taken a long time because trees, like problems, are deeply rooted, and digging them out is not an easy chore. But Jesus knew something about trees and problems His disciples didn’t know. First of all, He knew His Father was greater than the fig tree, so He used the knowledge and the power He had been given to take care of the problem. We may not understand this next statement, but Jesus did. WORDS are the most powerful weapon in God’s creation. Words have started every war that was ever fought, every divorce that was ever sought, and every problem we have ever faced. 

In this story Jesus is teaching His disciples the part of the problem His disciples couldn’t see (the root system of the tree) had to be dealt with if the problem was to be solved. He tells us in John 10:10, “The thief, (Satan) comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but I (Jesus) am come that you may have life, and life more abundantly.” Since everything Jesus did in the natural had a spiritual teaching attached to it. He is telling us in this story that the root of all of man’s problems arise out of the spirit realm and Satan is the source of them. Notice Jesus said, “The thief, (Satan) comes to steal, kill, and to destroy.” Those things that are robbing you of your joy, your peace, your health, your finances, your whatever, is from Satan. It isn’t God doing these things to you. And if you are going to solve your problems, they will have to be dealt with on the spiritual level. The roots of the problem must be destroyed and the problem will dry up just like the fig tree did in Mark chapter 11. Jesus spoke words of death to the root system of the fig tree, or in other words He cursed the root system of the tree, and when He was finished He didn’t hang around to see if the tree was going to die. He knew it was as good as dead when He walked away from it. The story tells us the tree did not die immediately, and the disciples couldn’t tell anything had taken place until the next day when they passed by and saw the dead leaves and branches. Sometimes it takes a while for us to see the end result of our problems, but that doesn’t mean the problem wasn’t taken care of when we dealt with Satan. Jesus went on to tell His disciples, “What things soever you believe when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” That my friend is where our FAITH IN GOD comes into play. When we have a relationship with the Lord Almighty, He honor’s our words just as He did the Words of Jesus in this story. It might also help us to understand that He is just as concerned about us overcoming our problems as we are. When we overcome, God receives the glory. If we are overcome by our problem, Satan receives the glory. Jesus was telling His disciples, “Every problem has a solution.” It is how we deal with the problem that determines whether or not we win over the problem. Start solving the problem by dealing with the one responsible for the problem. Trust the Lord, order Satan to remove himself from the situation, and we will see the results we desire in a short time, if we doubt not. The one thing we cannot afford to do is lose hope. The fig tree took time to die, and so will our problems. If we do not give up, we will win! DThrash


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