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Problem Solving

"If anyone lacks wisdom, ask God who gives to all generously ... and it will be given to you."1

The following formula for resolving problems, I believe, came from Norman Vincent Peale. He said to visualize ... prayerize ... actualize.

Visualize. We need to see a problem for what it is, and usually what we see isn't the real problem at all. Often it is the symptom of a deeper, hidden problem, the fruit of a hidden root! As somebody else said, "God is merciful. When we have unresolved personal problems, He gives us symptoms." Only as we see the cause of any problem can we ever resolve it. Once we do this, we need to visualize (see in our mind's eye) what we need to do to overcome the problem as well as visualizing or seeing the final outcome.

Prayerize. We also need to ask God to give us the wisdom and courage to see and confront the real cause of our problem. Then pray realistically, not only by committing our problem to God and asking for His guidance to help to find a solution, but also to give us the courage to do our part.

Actualize. Finally, we need to realize that we are responsible for resolving our problems. No matter what happens to us, we are always responsible for our reactions, feelings, and what we do about resolving our problems. God will give us wisdom if we ask for it, insight if we desire it, and courage if we need it, but He won't do for us what we can and need to do for ourselves. If He did, it would keep us over-dependent and immature.

Accepting responsibility for our problems, emotions, behavior, and our life is the heart of adult maturity. As we do our part to overcome our difficulties, God will do His part. As another has said, "God feeds the sparrows but He doesn't throw the food into their nests."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all of life's difficulties help me to face reality and see my responsibility and what I can and need to do to overcome. Please lead me to the help I need so to do. Also, help me to accept every problem as a challenge and opportunity to grow and thereby become a better, healthier and more loving person. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. James 1:5 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.