Wednesday, May 8, 2019

When Problems Pile Up - Martin Wiles

For I hold you by your right hand—I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13 NLT

The news was bad . . . again.

For a large part of my working career, I’ve pastored churches. Because the Internal Revenue Service labels pastors as self-employed for Social Security purposes, I’ve had to pay the full Social Security tax percentage. Which means my taxes are higher, and I have to send in quarterly estimated taxes.

Whether I fill out the return or pay a professional to do it, the taxes I send in are never enough. I watched my mom and dad and other pastor friends struggle with this same dilemma. Every year, my wife—when she finishes with the returns—says, “Well, we owe…” Never, “Guess what, we’re getting back a refund.” 

This particular year not only did my wife give me the bad news about how much we owed the IRS, but she also sent me a picture of a letter from our leasing agency. Our rent would increase ten dollars a month (We’re already paying an outrageous amount.). 

This was after I had to tell my second employer to take one hundred more dollars in taxes from my check each month so I wouldn’t owe taxes again next year. On an already tight budget, we’d have to learn to do without more than a hundred dollars.

When the problems pile up—and I’m tempted to complain or get down in the dumps—I remember this and other verses. 

My understanding of God sees Him as sending or allowing my life’s challenges. With this perspective, nothing spins out of control for me. Since I believe He is a loving God, I hold to the fact that He’s with me, involved in my problems, and moving them to an end that will benefit me and glorify His name. This lessens the problems’ impact and strengthens my emotional fortitude.

God also sends His Spirit to indwell me. So as I face my problems, I don’t do so alone. Greater is He who resides in me than he who temporarily rules the world. With God in my corner, I'm assured of victory. The problem will resolve itself, one way or another. And if I respond correctly, my faith and trust in God will grow and a little more spiritual maturity will result. 

Don’t let problems overwhelm you. The God who lives in you is greater than anything you face.

Tweetable: What's your plan of action when problems pile up?

Prayer: Father, when problems pile up, remind us You’re in control. 

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