Prevailing Over Problems
Duane Vander Klok
Everyone faces problems in life. If you do not deal with them right away, even small problems can grow into giants with the potential to rule over you. They may not look as menacing as physical giants, but they are often just as intimidating.
The good news is that God is bigger than every problem you will ever face. Whether trouble shows up in the form of sickness, depression, divorce, fear or a financial crisis, you do not have to be its slave (Romans 8:15). When you focus on how big your God is, your problems will look small in comparison, and you will be on your way to prevailing over them.
Focus on God’s Size
When Moses sent twelve men to spy out the land God had promised them, they came back with a mixed report. They described it as an extremely fruitful land, but said that it was inhabited by giants. Nevertheless, Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30 NKJV).
The other men returned saying, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we [are]…There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:31, 33 NKJV). While Joshua and Caleb viewed the giants as problems they could overcome with God’s help, the others saw them as insurmountable obstacles. Their faith vanished because they allowed fear to rule in their hearts.
Instead of acting on what God had promised them, the ten doubting spies acted on what they saw. Actually, the giants were not the problem. The problem was that they forgot about how big their God was. As a result, their fear and unbelief quickly spread throughout the rest of the Israelites.
In reality, the giants that had seemed so intimidating were filled with fear after hearing about the children of Israel and their God (Joshua 2:11). If the Israelites had believed God, the giants would have been no match for them. However, because the Israelites doubted, they spent the next forty years wandering in the wilderness when they could have been enjoying the Promised Land.
Problems, like giants, will hold you captive as long as you let them. The more you think and talk about them, the bigger they will become in your mind. You might think and say, “My problem is sickness…my problem is my marriage…my problem is fear,” but the real problem is your perspective. The more you focus on God’s size, the easier it will be for you to prevail over problems.
David is the most famous giant killer in history, but he was virtually unknown before he met Goliath. He was, in fact, an ordinary shepherd boy. Perhaps the only remarkable thing about him was that he had developed his relationship with God while tending his father’s sheep.
Certainly, there were many men in Israel who appeared more qualified to tackle Goliath, but they only knew about God.
David knew God. When you know God, you will be prepared to do extraordinary things and will experience victory over the problems – even the giant-sized ones – in your life. David also understood the power of his covenant with God. The covenant said, “You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you” (Leviticus 26:7). And it said, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:5).
Those promises could have worked for anyone in Israel, but David was the only one who believed them and exercised his faith. He fully believed that all of God’s promises belonged to him as a benefit of the covenant.
Marriage is one example of a covenant. At the moment Jeanie and I said our vows, what was mine became hers, and what was hers became mine. Our covenant gave her the authority, with one stroke of the pen, to write a check for everything I had.
Similarly, when you are born again, you are in covenant with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Everything you have becomes His, and His unlimited resources become available to you. Your problems are now His, and every promise in the Bible is yours.
How to See Yourself
Before David could face Goliath, he needed to see himself as a giant-killer. Likewise, before you are ready to prevail over your problems, you must see yourself the way God does. After all, He is the One who has the most accurate picture of who you were created to be.
As you spend time reading God’s Word, as you worship and as you pray, you will begin to see yourself as He does. He looks at you and says you are His child, that you have His authority, and that in Christ, you are more than a conqueror. You are not held back by your past reputation, by memories of past experiences or by what others have said about you.
While people sometimes have a tendency to expect perfection, God does not. He chooses to use imperfect people who have faith in Him, the perfect God. So, if you are imperfect and have faith, you are qualified to prevail over your problems, and you are ready to be a giant-killer!
Speak to the Problem
When David came face to face with Goliath, the giant taunted and threatened him. However, David was not deterred by Goliath’s size or his words. Instead, he confidently spoke out of the faith that was in his heart. He said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head” (1 Samuel 17:45-46).
Because of his relationship with God and the covenant they shared, David knew he could defeat Goliath. When he spoke the words of faith that were in his heart, the giant was already as good as dead! David simply took a stone and slung it at the giant, hitting him in the forehead.
1 Samuel 17:50-51 gives this account: “So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.” By speaking and acting on his faith, the previously unknown shepherd boy did what the mighty men of his day could not do.
Here’s something you need to know: faith has a language that speaks with authority and confidence. It is totally dependent on God as it believes and speaks His Word. When a problem “talks” to you, you can – and should – speak to it just like David spoke to Goliath.
Suppose sickness says, “I’ve got you, and you are going to die.” You can say, “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done” (Psalm 118:17). If you are facing a giant financial problem, you can confidently say, “My God will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:19).
Every time you face a problem, you can open your Bible and find where God has promised to meet your particular need. Believe His Word, and speak to the problem just like David spoke to Goliath.
You Can Prevail!
Here are some keys to help you prevail over problems:
1) Focus on God, not the problem.
2) Keep on developing your relationship with God.
3) See yourself as God sees you.
4) Speak words that reflect your faith in God and His promises.
God is much bigger than any problem you will ever have. When you focus on how big He is, spend time with Him, and begin to speak His language – the language of faith – you can prevail over problems!
(All scriptures are from the New International Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)