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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Permanent Solutions for Temporary Problems

Nearly every week we hear of someone violently attacking others. They kill those whom they feel have harmed them and continue to kill others with whom they have never met. They appear to be asking for the pain to end. They don't believe they can take another moment of what they are feeling.

Evidence reveals that many of these people have prepared for this day. They assemble and arsenal of weapons, obtain body armor and choose their places of destruction. Yet, ultimately, they have to know that their lives are over once they start the path they have chosen. I guess that is their price for ending the pain.

Do they realize that the pain is only temporary? Has it been so long since they have felt good that they no longer feel that is possible? Yes, most of us look at each of our problems as if they are permanent but they really never are. Even a terminal disease has an end.

The most famous suicide in the Bible is that of Judas.

Matthew 27:3-5 (ESV)
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

Just think of this for a few moments. How would things have changed if Judas had waited just a few days before taking action? I know he could not see a way out of his guilt. He saw Jesus' death as final.

But he was wrong! The things which seem final in this world are not final when we consider the Lord. He often allows us to go through horrible experiences but He does not want us to go through them alone. He will go with us. He will bring the saints with us through their prayers. He will end the suffering.

Can we trust Him in this? If we can't then there is nothing we can trust.

Judas couldn't understand forgiveness. Maybe he understood that the only righteousness came when the law was perfectly kept. He had betrayed innocent blood. He didn't know that Jesus blood would pay for his own sin. He didn't believed he could be forgiven. He didn't wait for it either.

Judas couldn't get past the days ahead. There is no doubt that they other disciples weren't about to bring him into their inner circle. He was so friendless that his body would hand until the rope broke and his body would burst headlong on the ground. No one came to collect the body. He must have felt so alone.

But if he had waited he would have known Jesus as his friend. He could have been one of the most powerful witnesses. He could have said that even a betrayer like him could be forgiven. Now wouldn't that have been an amazing testimony?

But, no, Judas had a permanent solution for his temporary problem. I know the problem seemed permanent but no problem is permanent. No problem at all is permanent.

Sometimes we go through overwhelming pain. Some of it we cause. Often others are the source of our pain.

But as long as there is a God, all problems on this earth are temporary.

Never, never, never use a permanent solution for a temporary problem.


Anonymous said...

"...a permanent solution to a temporary problem..."

Twenty-five years ago (Yes, I'm that old.), I began speaking that very phrase to clients who were suicidal. It almost always brought the physical response of widened eyes or raised eyebrows.

Hearing it used these days always blesses me because until I used it, I hadn't heard anyone else use it. I heard it for the first time when Jesus spoke it to me. :} So...I, of course, am certain that I got that particular discriptor of suicide started. (Well, okay, maybe not.)

Seriously, tho, the first rule of counseling is to instill hope. Planing the idea that what is going on right now is NOT permanent, but temporary brings great hope, especially when you can hook that idea with the wonder working love of Jesus.

Great stuff.


Anonymous said...

Ah, a well written piece. Although I did get pointed to Judas, his betrayal and his dying committing suicide, from time to time, I have not thought how it could possibly be, had he waited a couple of days to know that Jesus did resurrect.

Talking about capacity to cope with stresses and afflictions of life, there are many among us, not coping well, and when they take things into their own hands, or close themselves in, without someone they could consult with, they may mess up things even more.  Such people need to be provided with godly counsel, and helped.  Perhaps, too few of us are bothered with other people's welfare, to lend a helping hand or to give ear to another.  

Our church, is it cold or is there enough warm and help, that people with problems would not keep to themselves, but seek help from godly brothers and sisters? What about the church leadership, is the team just interested in doing the week-end services only, where there is hardly any interaction, especially for the bigger churches, or it is interested in people's lives? Does your church has home cell groups?  What is the level of participation; in other words, what percentage of the congregation is in home cells?

Of course, there are so many outside of the church, we cannot reach and help, still we should NOT stop helping some, even when we cannot help them all.  No one, including God, expects you to help them all, but we should not turn a blind eye and excuse ourselves saying, "we can help them all-meh?!" When everybody does a little more, be loving, be charitable, the world becomes a better place a little more.

Anthony Chia, high,expressions