overcoming problems

Joni Eareckson Tada, a Christian author and supporter of people with disabilities, has been diagnosed with cancer, according to WORLD magazine. Tada, 69, has been a quadriplegic for 51 years, due to a diving accident, and this is the second time she has had cancer in the last eight years. It is quite a problem, both for her and her family and supporters of her ministry.

What problems do you face today? Maybe problems as bad as Joni, or not so much. Mine aren’t so bad. Problems are like dust, all around, never fully going away, and we’re always having to deal with them. Family, work, neighbors, school, health, money – no matter where you find yourself, you are facing a problem right now, or will face one very soon.

How do you face problems? God’s people in Isaiah 26 faced many problems. Poor leaders were running amuck. The good, rich, glory days of David and Solomon were fading in the past. Enemies were just around the gate and bearing down. God spoke ominous words of warning, judgment, and woe.

But light shined. His promise came forward. In a future day to come, God will establish a strong city; salvation itself will be the walls and supports. “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)” For the person whose mind is fixed, focused, and stayed on the Lord, like Joni, He keeps that person in perfect peace, amidst the problems. Trust in the Lord is the key, and you can trust in Him forever. The Lord is an everlasting rock, solid and sure.

Only those who have trusted Jesus Christ will enter His strong city, and because they believe, they have peace (Rom. 5:1). The Hebrew word for “peace” (shalom) doesn’t mean “end of war,” but so much more. It includes blessings of wholeness, health, quietness of soul, preservation, and completeness. This is the same trust and peace that Paul could speak of in Philippians 4:4-7: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The God of peace will be with you as you go about each day, facing the problems before you.
How is Joni dealing with her problem? “When I received the unexpected news of cancer from my oncological surgeon,” she said, “I relaxed and smiled, knowing that my sovereign God loves me dearly and holds me tightly in His hands.” Friend, trust in the Lord today. Fix your mind on Him. Receive from Him His perfect peace in the light of the problems you face. Christ is “the Rock,” “the rock of ages, cleft for me – let me hide myself in thee.”