Solving Intractable Problems


Some of life’s problems seem intractable – unsolvable.  While some of these problems are not our fault, we are a major contributor to others.  We make problems far worse when we take things into our own hands and look everywhere except to God for solutions:

The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; 

Psalm 16:4

What do we do with unsolvable problems?  We can despair and lose hope, just waiting for life to end so that we can escape into the brighter hope of heaven.  Or we can take a path of faith, realizing that as long as we have breath and God is involved, the final chapter of our lives has not been written.  This path of faith realizes that nothing is impossible with God.


27 But He [Jesus] said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” 

Luke 18:27

This was illustrated by Abraham and Sarah having their first child when he was 100 and she 90 years old.

Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 

Genesis 18:14

God’s ability to “fix things” does not mean that He will put everything back the way they should have been before we “veered off course”.  And it does not mean that He will create the future that WE want, according to our plan – an attitude that indicates we still are trying to force God to serve us in our goals, rather than us allowing Him to be Lord.  It does mean, however, that He can give us joy, satisfaction, and purpose by weaving our past into a fruitful, loving future.

Godly, even Biblical “wisdom” is helpful and essential in finding our way forward.  But we also need to bring God directly into the equation.  We have discussed previously (here and here) this essential aspect of bringing God into the middle of things.

But there is one more thing – some will call it radical, others will not.  When we consider that earthly battles are actually spiritual battles…

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.   

Ephesians 6:12

.. we may need to kick our “crying out to God” up a notch and consider fasting with our prayer.  This does not automatically make the answer come faster, but does show an added level of seriousness.

 In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed…

… Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in my way for twenty-one days;  

Daniel 10:2-3, 10-14

This added seriousness of fasting might be more natural than we think.  In times of severe distress many of us tend to lose our appetite (others may binge eat or drink).   Why not use that loss of appetite as additional impetus to show God our sincerity through fasting?



Click here to see the initial steps to peace with God.