God should fix my problems.
In the book, Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by DeMoss and Gresh, “God should fix my problems” was confronted as a lie. I had to go back and re-read this statement to make sure the wording was right. If that’s a lie, where have I been?
God has been leading me up to this point, more recently, over the past few weeks to address this lie through Bible study and circumstances. I’m a fixer. I want things fixed and done–finished. Nothing drives me to insanity than being stuck, or broken.
Paul pleaded three times for God to remove his “thorn in the flesh”–his brokenness–but it was not fixed. It was used for greater glory.
2 Corinthians 12
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I have this “thing”–we all do. This “thing” usually produces torment in the form of restlessness, loss of sleep, physical complaints, emotional exhaustion, problems with relationships, and/or spiritual depression. We believe that if we were strong enough or found just the right Bible study –God would fix our problem.
What if the problem or thorn was considered a gift from God for His glory to be made manifested, and His Power to rest upon us?
What?! Live in my weaknesses and be subjected to torment and suffering? No thanks!
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Did you know that Jesus, God’s Son, was not kept from suffering?
Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)
God, how do we live with a thorn that may never be fixed?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1: 2-8
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete. Don’t be double-minded. God does not withhold blessings, our double-mindedness produces instability and a barrier to receiving His blessings.
Don’t be afraid or disappointed when “the thing” occurs–have faith that God is manifesting Himself in you.
A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places by Rusty Rustenbach challenges this inner-healing that comes from recognizing your brokenness and being still before God through prayer and listening to Him speak to your soul. God is generous and gives generously to all without finding fault. It will be given to you.
God’s wisdom and love is about changing you, not making your problems go away.
It’s about reframing the problem in light of His Glory! He does not call us to dwell on the thorn, but to claim His love and strength despite the thorn. God’s Word shares that Jesus, with JOY, faced the cross. He trusted God to fulfill His work and complete what He had promised. He will do the same for you.
As you work through brokenness and healing, do not be discouraged. Your thorn, or weakness, is not a death sentence– to be the “walking dead”. The enemy would desire for you to be double-minded in these matters, but God wants you to only but ask–He will give you the wisdom you need to walk in victory with your thorn.
Don’t limit God.
I’m so glad Paul did not give up when God did not fix the problem. Instead he chose words of promise and victory!
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. (Philippians 3:14-15)
Can’t you hear Paul’s pleading? Brother and sister in Christ, if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you…….
God is with you and desires for you to walk in victory! No matter where you find yourself today with your thorn, believe that God’s power can be made manifested in you, and His strength will rest upon you. He does not force Himself on you–He will rest upon you and give you rest. Ask for wisdom, and listen to His voice.
He loves you too much to make a problem go away–He wants to change you from glory to glory!
Please take time to engage in a guided listening prayer session with Jesus by following this guideline in Rusty’s book: