Problems are fascinating things. They can morph and grow and permeate every part of your life. Unlike hobbies or people, there is just no getting bored of a problem. The more time you spend with the problem, the more familiar you become with it, instead of boring you, it consumes you, overwhelms you, till you know each and every one of its quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Israel was faced with many problems in their lifetime, and each time, the problem certainly troubled them. But there was once when the problem had a name. Let us see what truths Jesus wants us to learn from that episode, for our problems.

The Stage is Set – Circumstances Give Problems Weight

“Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.” 1 Samuel 17:1-3

The first thing we notice about problems is that there is always circumstance. Two countries were at war. The men were to follow the chain of command. This was a long time coming. They had prepared long and hard. They knew what was at stake. They knew the consequences. They felt the weight of responsibility on their shoulders.

Circumstances always psyche us out. Actually, staging is the very thing that causes the problem to grow in size and stature in our minds. Because we start to attach a lot of unnecessary baggage to the problem, like consequences, stakes and so on. These consequences may be real, yes; but the stakes may not be as high as we think.

For example, to many parents, it is unthinkable for their children to fail their school finals or entrance exams. Education is of the utmost importance. So if they miss out on getting into the top school, miss out on securing that top scholarship, all is lost.

Now, education is important. Getting your child into a good institution of learning; securing that prized scholarship, which brings along with it guaranteed employment; these are all important. But if the opportunity is missed, does that mean that the rest of the child’s natural life is lost? Are there no opportunities left? Just like the story of the two men who went to God in the message Nobody Does It Better Than Jesus, does it mean that the man’s father must die, so that the undertaker’s business can survive to fight another day? There is no other way out?

Of course we know, ‘all roads lead to Rome’. There are many solutions, many alternatives. So then, when we are faced with a problem, we should constantly remind ourselves of that. Because if we do not, and we let our guard down, the circumstance will psyche us out, and this is what our problem will become to us.

“A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor—126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail—the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him.” 1 Samuel 17-4-7 [MSG]

Granted it is not a common sight, but if you saw a man, ten feet tall, wearing a bronze helmet, dressed in heavy armor, replete with shin guards and a bronze sword walking down the street today, chances are, you are not going to think ‘problem’ but instead, ‘weirdo’ will cross your mind. So what does this tell us? Problems are most overwhelming when placed in their situation. So either take the problem out of the circumstance, or take apart the circumstance, and suddenly the problem does not seem so large any more.

Done it Once, Do It Again – See The Problem through Familiar Lens
The next thing about problems we must notice is that there is always a familiar rhythm to them. Nothing is really ever new. Nothing is really ever different.

““Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.”
David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”
Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” 1 Samuel 17:32-37 [MSG]

Have you been through a problem before? Surely you must have. Been through a similar problem as you are facing now? How did that work out? Where did the provision come from? How was the problem solved? It was hopeless at one stage right? So how is it that you can sit here now with another problem?

In the same way that David saw Goliath as yet another animal to be killed, we too can look at our problems and realize that we have been there before, and we came out ok. So we will be alright too this time.

But beloved, realize that for us who believe, this is not merely empty comfort. We do have a very strong basis, sure foundation, upon which we build our faith. And that firm foundation has a name. Jesus.

In the same way that God our Father delivered David from the teeth of the lion, and the claws of the bear, so too did Jesus open doors of opportunity for you, shut doors of destruction, caused His favor to rain down upon you, so that your troubles could be flooded out and you, whilst you rested in Him, your safe ark, could rise up above the flood and emerge victorious from the storm. And if He did this for you during the last problem, He will do this for you again, now, and the next time, when it comes because,

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

Many years and certainly many troubles later, the very same David wrote,

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3

Indeed, our Father is our refuge, Jesus, our very present help in trouble. Beloved, there is nothing to fear. Remember that the apostle Paul said,

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39


“The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46:7/11

Remember Jacob? The one who tricked Esau, his elder brother, of his birthright, and lived in fear of Esau’s vengeance? You can read more about them in the message, Nearer My Child To Me. This very same God, who sorted out their problem and brought peace upon their households and prospered them, this is the same God we call Father, and this same God, calls us children for,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

So this same God will pull you out of your troubles, just like He did the last time, and the time before, and the time before that.

Yes, your troubles are taunting you, just like Goliath taunted Israel, but know that at the same time, your Father is telling you,

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

And how shall He be exalted among the nations if He lets us who believe in Him fall and be consumed by our problems? How shall He win if our problems ultimately prevail? Surely He cannot. So surely He will not let you fall.

So beloved,

“Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

And from it, take comfort.

And if by chance you have never come into the loving arms of our Father and would like to enter into His presence, and be counted as one of His children, so that you qualify to be under His protection, you qualify for His deliverance, know this, you can; and not only can you, He has already been watching over you right from the beginning, preparing you for such a time as this, for Jesus said,

“Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 4:65

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 4:37

So beloved, come in confidence that Jesus will never turn you away. Say this prayer with me now.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that right in the valley of my trouble, You have prepared for me a door, and that door is Jesus. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me, so that by His death, I also die to sin and by His rising, I also rise to new life in Him. Thank You Jesus that by Your shed blood, You have given me full remission of all my sins, past, present and future, so that now I stand in the presence of our Father blameless, spotless, accepted and greatly loved. Father I cast all my troubles on You for just as You have, I know You will take care of it all for me. You are my creator and my shepherd and in You I shall not lack. So Father I shall rest in Your love and be still, so that I may see Your awesome power at work in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved child of God, turn to Jesus, cast your cares on Him for He loves you. Let Him free you from the bondage of the problem. Stop focusing on the problem. Break free now.

Like our messages?

Sign up to get our messages delivered daily.

Social Media Policy Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms of Use