The Problem with Problems

I wrote the following 11 points a while back as reminders to myself. I meant them to be applied to my own pastoral ministry, but they strike me as equally applicable to everyone:

When your ministry (or life) is full of big, pressing, chronic problems, BEWARE:

1) You may unconsciously make your problems the center and organizing principle of your ministry or even your life, and the first thing you think of in any given situation instead of Christ and the Gospel.

2) You may begin to forget that even the worst of problems “are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

3) You may forget that your problems were ordained before creation by a God who loves you and that all of them will “work together for good to those who love God.”

4) You may start to feel your problems are actually bigger and more important than the problems of other people.

5) You may actually start to believe that people or rearranged circumstances and not faith, perseverance, and above all PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER are the answer to your problems.

6) You may start to demand sympathy for your problems and end up making sympathy into an entitlement. If you do that don’t be surprised if after a while people begin to stop giving you genuine sympathy.

7) The very hugeness of problems often makes it impossible to see the equally pressing problems of others, and if you become blind to the needs of others, how can you possibly minister to them?

8) You may focus on the molehill of your temporal problems instead of the mountain of your eternal blessings.

9) You may be tempted to compromise the gospel and your calling in order to pragmatically deal with your problems.

10) You may fall prey to thinking of yourself as a victim instead of more than a conqueror through Him who loved us.

11) You may forget that problems are a God-given necessity, and that “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

About Andrew Webb

Andrew James Webb, Pastor Providence PCA, Fayetteville NC. Born: July 29, 1969 Rochford, Essex England Education: MA Modern History, St. Andrews University, Fife, Scotland, 1991 M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, PA, 2001 Personal Details: Husband of Joy Webb, Father of Margaret (6), Victor (5), Graham (3) and Isabel (10 Mos.) Secular Work History: Upon graduation from University, I returned to the United States and worked for two Madison Ave Advertising Firms in copy writing and advertising space sales. After moving to Northern Virginia, I went into computing. I worked as a Systems Administrator in Washington D.C. for both the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) (a legal publishing firm,) and the International Republican Institute. Experience: Licensed by Potomac Presbytery, May 1997 and Philadelphia Presbytery in 1999. From 1998 to 2001 I did a three year apprentice/internship under Dr. Mark Herzer while working with the Christ Covenant church plant in Hatboro, PA. Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor. Presbytery Committees: Assistance and Membership (Philadelphia), Candidates (Central Carolina), Nominations (Central Carolina) GA Committees: Bills and Overtures, Covenant Theological Seminary Other: I have had a number of my essays on theological topics published including What is the Reformed Doctrine of Divorce? and Five Reasons Not To Go See The Passion of the Christ Why I Don't Have an English Accent: I don't have an English accent because my parents moved to New Jersey when I was six!
This entry was posted in Encouragement, Pastoral Theology, Piety, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Problem with Problems

  1. William McQuade says:

    I (Grudgingly) needed to read this today!

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