​Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?

A Sunday School teacher once asked, “What’s small, brown, has a bushy tail and gathers nuts?”
The little boy responded, “It sounds like a squirrel, but the answer has to be Jesus.”
Often in church, we phrase questions that lead children to believe Jesus is the answer to every question.
As we get older, we often hear that He is.
But is He?
Does Jesus solve every problem?

If I would say, “Can He solve every problem?” 
We’d say, “Of course. He Can!”
Can denotes ability. And Jesus can.
But does He?

What about the mother of small children whose husband left her?
What about the wife who waits for her drug-addict husband to stop?
Or the husband whose wife is more a slave-driver than a helpmeet?
Or a mom concerned about her wayward son as she raises his children?

We say, “Jesus is the answer to all life’s problems.”
But do we live like it?

A couple is having problems. 
They go to marital counseling.
Counseling from a human perspective will only teach you how to be strong, how you must manipulate the circumstances in your favor.
But what if you aren’t strong enough? 
Is there no hope?
An individual has depression. He seeks counseling.
He is given medicine. (There are times when this is needed. I am not condemning medicine.)
A child can’t behave in school. He is given drugs. (Boys aren’t meant to sit still for too long!)

My parents’ generation did not think depression was spiritual.
Instead of acknowledging they were depressed, they denied it.
Like the white elephant in the room isn’t talked about, but everyone knows it’s there—and walks through its droppings!

Jesus never said you won’t be depressed. 
Or even that it was a sin to be depressed.
Look at Jeremiah. He was the weeping prophet for a reason.
He spoke of coming judgment for his people on every page of his book.

Nor did Jesus tell us we wouldn’t have problems. 
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, in the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33.
Paul said, so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destine for this. I Thessalonians 3:3.

Often when we experience problems, we think (erroneously), that if we could just fix what we did, repent of our wrong, that God will fix our problems. 
What happens, if in spite of our repentance, our husband remains angry, or on drugs and leaves you, or your wife that demands more—not less as time continues?
Are we wrong?

Cause and effect. 
We sin, God punishes. 
We repent. God blesses.
That’s the faulty thinking Job’s friends kept telling Job.
“Just repent and get on with your happy life.”
But Job had nothing to repent from. So why wasn't he happy?

Just because there are hard times, does not mean you have sinned. 

We second guess our decisions. If I had not married this person... If I didn’t do this…
We rehearse our actions to find what we did wrong.
Maybe you did nothing!
Maybe you are right where God wants you to be.

Consider the early Christians. They suffered horribly—and not because of their sin but because of their faith.
They did not cause their suffering.

God has allowed you these hidden trials.
And they are hidden.
Who can you talk with about your husband’s problem? Or your wife’s issues?
No One.
But God.

Has God forgotten you?—He certainly hasn’t helped change your spouse—much as you’ve prayed for that!
Life looks impossible.
There’s no easy solution.

It’s not marital counseling, when your spouse won’t go.
It’s not drug rehab, when he isn’t interested.

Or if they do go, the counselor says, “divorce him, you are abused and need to get away from him.”
You want to, but is that’s man’s “wisdom”?
Does God sanction divorce in this case?
How do you discern man’s words from God’s Words?
Maybe man knows better in this case.
How else can this problem be solved?

Where is Jesus when your husband is angry and all you can do is cower in the corner?
Jesus isn’t there, like He was to throw the money changers out of the temple.
Is divorce the answer?

We’ve talked about how man’s thoughts are not God’s thoughts. (See Are You a Manipulator?)

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways. And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9.

In fact, often they are opposite.
We’ve talked about how we must be in the Word to know His will. 
We can’t hear His Spirit when we are too busy talking and aren’t listening.

Often in the midst of these problems, we are telling God what to do. CHANGE MY SPOUSE!
Not listening to what He wants us to do. Wait for ME!

Our problem is not our spouse.
It’s our focus.
Read that again.

Whenever I’m nit-picking my husband, I’m emphasizing everything wrong. My feelings follow. I don’t like my husband.
When I switch my focus to thank God for those qualities that made me marry him to begin with, my feelings follow. 
That doesn’t eliminate the problem, that merely changes my focus.

If those qualities no longer exist, there’s still cause to thank God. Find it.
If you can’t, ask God.

We expect our husbands to love us regardless of how we treat them. We ignore his needs. We disregard his requests. We … yet demand he love us unconditionally. Isn’t that how God loved us? 

Ladies, you are to respect your husband.
The Bible does not give that command as a condition.
Not if he deserves it. But regardless of whether he deserves it, do it!

What if his demands are beyond anyone’s ability to meet?
Or he requires something that goes against God’s Word?

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. And God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13.

How do we find that escape?
We must be in God’s Word.
Listening to His Spirit.

God didn’t instantly pluck His believers out of harm’s way.
Some died horrible deaths, read Hebrews 11.
Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings, and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword, they were about in sheepskin, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, illtreated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:35-38.

Does that mean God didn’t answer them?
God deserted them?

Hebrews 11:39 answers that, And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

They didn’t keep asking, “What wrong did I do?”
They looked to God, in spite of what they suffered.
They expected to suffer. 

It’s easier to endure suffering when everyone knows you’re suffering, then when you suffer silently.
We want to wear it as a badge for everyone to see.
Like the Pharisees who prayed on the street corner with torn robes and long faces.
Jesus rebuked them.
He said, more blessed that you pray in your closet where God hears and no one else does and you wash your face and no one knows your suffering (Matthew 6:6).

Your suffering is not an indication that God isn’t capable of solving your problems.
Maybe God is waiting for you—
Not to ask Him to fix it the way you want.
But just for you to sit in His presence and listen to Him.
Without promises. Without bartering.
And enjoy Him.

Sometimes those answers haven’t come because we’re still telling God how to answer the problem.
God knows already—your problem and the solution.
And it ain’t how you think.

God wants you to forget about the problem and praise Him.
To become so absorbed with Who He is that when you think about the problem, you immediately thank Him for answering it already.

God wants your attention.
God wants your praise.

When you finally give that to Him, you will begin to become part of the answer.
God works on you.
In ways you hadn’t thought possible.
Your focus changes.
Your attitude changes.
The problem doesn’t consume your thoughts anymore—God does.
And you have peace.

What you do is not so important.
God is.
He makes it happen.
That spouse who wants to control you, no longer has control over your mind. Hatred no longer consumes you. God gives you peace. Then love.

But the problem isn’t solved.
Jesus told the disciples that he was going away.
Instantly the disciples became concerned about where he was going.
Jesus answered them, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1.
Jesus told the disciples not to look at their surroundings.
He told them, “Look at Me. Trust Me.”

Peace comes first in the heart.
In that heart that rests in His presence.

When we learn to live in His presence—to trust Him, to look to Him instead of our problems, we see the problems of the world as avenues for showing His glory and we can give thanks.
And as we learn to do that, (which takes great effort to stay focused), God works a change in us that conforms us into the image of His Son.

It is not us trying harder to be nice or kind. Or to be strong enough.
It is God working in us, changing us to be like Him.
And when we look back at the problems that caused us to begin this journey, we can truly give God thanks.

For Jesus truly is the answer to everything. 

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One of my favorite songs is Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. These words say it all. Thanks for sharing, Sonya.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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