Strategies for Dealing with Problems

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Mark 14:3-9


I.         The world is filled with problems. Some caused by others. Many that I cause myself.

            A.        How do you deal with them?

II.        Ignore them

            A.        It is so tempting to pretend that the problems aren’t really there.

            B.        Don’t forsake your friends - Proverbs 27:10

            C.        Example from the Good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-32

            D.        If I ignore other people’s problems, then my heart won’t be touched - Romans 12:15

                        1.         But that cuts both ways. Uncaring is just a small step from unloving.

            E.        If I ignore problems, they build up - Proverbs 24:30-34

III.       Give up

            A.        If I can’t fix everything then I won’t even try. We allow problems to overwhelm us.

            B.        To leave slavery in Egypt to freedom in their own land, the Israelites had to travel through some rough territory. Some did not think the suffering was worth the reward - Exodus 17:1-3

            C.        But preserving through trials can perfect us - James 1:2-4

            D.        Run with endurance, sit out the race - Hebrews 12:1-2

IV.      Complain

            A.        Blame other people for creating this mess

            B.        It is easy to find fault

            C.        Complaining is easy when you’re not involved

                        1.         Nehemiah 4:1-3 - Sanballat and Tobiah did not want Jerusalem rebuilt. They did not help with the work. Yet, they stood by and criticized their efforts.

                                    a.         You can’t do it, you’ve been defeated before. You’re too weak.

                                    b.         It will take too long.

                                    c.         You don’t have the right material.

                                    d.         You don’t know what you are doing

                                    e.         It won’t last

                        2.         Churches that are active, with plans and programs to reach out to the lost with the gospel will be criticized.

                                    a.         The criticism will come from those who won’t work in any programs that are set forth.

                                    b.         When the church grew, those outside complained and conspired against it, and yet it still grew - Acts 4:25

V.        Do what I can

            A.        Notice the praise of Jesus - Mark 14:3-9

                        1.         Some found an occasion to complain, but this woman did what she could

                        2.         She couldn’t save Jesus from his death, but she could do one task for him.

            B.        The Macedonians could not end the famine, but they sent aid - II Corinthians 8:1-3, 12

            C.        The Samaritan did what he could - Luke 10:33-35

            D.        The solution is to do a small bit at a time - Proverbs 6:6-11

            E.        How many opportunities are passed up because it wasn’t a great deed? - Galatians 6:9-10

            F.        I can’t do everything, but I can do this one thing - Mark 9:41

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