A church congregation once sent their pastor to me for counsel. There was a serious division in the church and the people seemed unable to put away their differences.
The troubled pastor explained the situation to me, saying he couldn’t figure out why there were unable to solve their problems. He had been preaching regularly about problems and how to solve them. Following their midweek service, the church board had been meeting weekly to solve their problems. The monthly congregational business meeting had been given to airing their problems for a number of months. Still the problems remained.
“Has the Lord done anything good for you?” I asked.
The pastor answered that a teenage girl had been converted a few weeks previous to our meeting.
“Then I can tell you what to do,” I replied.
“First, stop talking about your problems all the time.”
“Second, start rejoicing over the conversion of the teenager.”
What was I trying to do? I was attempting to get the members of that church out of their rut of negative thinking. Everything seemed wrong to them because failure and conflict occupied their minds continually. While they kept seeking for answers, they really didn’t expect to find them. They were thinking like losers.
They needed a victory to turn their thinking around — to rearrange their thought patterns. And the Lord had given them just such a victory in the conversion of the girl a few weeks before. Somehow they had missed it. Why? Because they had become problem conscious instead of power conscious.
Many are like them.
Compare the atmosphere of heaven to that of the troubled church. Upon the conversion of the girl, heaven rejoiced. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, the members of her church were momentarily pleased but almost immediately went back to fighting. They now needed to return in thought to the miracle that had taken place among them and to begin expecting God’s power to be evidenced in many other lives.
Expectation. What a good word it is!
The lack of expectation makes life dull and without adventure.
Can you imagine the change that would take place in the world if all believers really started believing?
Faith taps the mighty power of God. Doubt gets nothing.
Doubt focuses on all that is wrong. Faith drives the clouds away.
After I had finished the sermon in one troubled church, a woman said, “I see that you have turned our minds from our problems to the Problem Solver.”
That was exactly what I had intended to do. And why not? Our Lord has unlimited power to meet all our needs. So why do we wear ourselves out expecting the worst?
Thomas Edison once remarked, “I believe that for every problem God has given us, He has a solution.”
Look for His solution to the problem you are facing today.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.