Everybody has problems. Christians are no different from unbelievers in that regard. But we are supposed to be different in the matter of faith. The Bible teaches us to trust God for solutions and to avoid the pitfalls of anxiety and worry. I’m not good at it! But I am still trying to learn how to live at a higher level.
“Don’t worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Although couched in the language of command in Scriptures, these are hard verses to obey. When problems come, we tend to think the obligation to solve them is ours. For believers, the promise is that God will supply.
Take the case of Abraham and Isaac. Remember when God told Abraham to take his beloved and irreplaceable son as a sacrifice? As we reflect on that awful episode, we tend to imagine how Abraham’s stomach must have churned and his heart must have ached. How could he reconcile God’s promise to make him great through Isaac and the command to offer Isaac? What should he do?
The biblical text does not present Abraham as a man in turmoil. He got up early the next morning, went to the place of sacrifice, and prepared to go through the ritual. No whining. No arguing. No complaining about the dilemma he faced. In fact, there is no good reason to think he saw himself as a man with a problem.
From his point of view, Abraham seems to have regarded the obligation to reconcile the promise and the command as God’s problem. No wonder Scripture presents Abraham as the quintessential man of faith and faithfulness.
When you are faced with a spiritual or ethical dilemma, your obligation is simply to do the right thing. It is God’s problem from there. When you are suffering, commit yourself to the Lord. The rest is his job. When your personal world comes crashing down, keep faith with God. It is his task to get you through.
Is that copping out? Being irresponsible? Absolutely not. Trusting God is not passive resignation to whatever comes. As with Abraham, it is an active commitment to doing right. Following God. Carrying through with your duty. Once you do that, it is up to God to make the ending what it should be.
Do what you know is right. Commit to your troubled family. Work at your job. Talk with your counselor. Continue making job applications. Trust God to fit all the loose and scattered pieces of your life together.
Once you commit the matter to him, it becomes his problem to solve.