Facing Problems God's Way:

How to Run Out of Wine without Whining

John 2:1-11

By Greg Wright

Preached at Grace Baptist Church, Hartsville, Tennessee on May 4, 2008

 

 

I. Introduction.

 

Good morning. Please turn to the second chapter of the Gospel of John. This passage of scripture takes us to the scene of a wedding, a wedding where something is about to go wrong.

 

Now, if there is any day in our lives that we want to be perfect, it is our wedding day. Even little girls dream of the day of their wedding: the dress they will wear, the way they will fix their hair, the flowers they will carry, the music that will be played, the love that will be revealed, the ring that will be given, and the man to whom they will pledge their heart.

 

The importance of the day is demonstrated by the meticulous effort that goes into planning it. The list of issues that have to be addressed can be overwhelming: deciding who to invite, designing the invitations, writing directions for people who live out of town, reserving a facility for the wedding, selecting music, selecting musicians, selecting groomsmen and bridesmaids, reserving the tuxedos, making or buying the dresses, going through counseling with the minister who will perform the wedding, planning the consolidation of possessions and the move from residence to another, deciding how the wedding guests will be served: light buffet food, buffet meal, or a formal dinner, making reservations for the location of the honeymoon, and especially important, laying out a wedding budget. And I have no doubt that I have left out a few things.

 

A. Kyle and Katie’s wedding.

 

Meticulous planning.

None of you know Kyle and Katie, but I can tell you this about them. They were very careful and conscientious in planning their wedding day. They were meticulous in their efforts to make sure that their wedding plans were flawless. Katie and her parents wanted to treat the wedding guests to a formal, sit-down dinner. They would be sending out 350 invitations, and they estimated that around 300 people would actually show up. Their RSVP request was answered affirmatively by 280 people. So they decided that, to be on the safe side, they would need a dinner facility capable of seating 300 people. Once a suitable facility was found, Katie's parents made the reservations and laid out the menu. The guests would be treated to veal, salad, baked potato, green beans, rolls, and the wedding cake would be the dessert. These items would have to be prepared in advance so that the guests could be served quickly.

 

The wedding itself actually was flawless. No one fell down. The organist didn't miss any notes. The bridesmaids and groomsmen didn't miss any cues. The soloists actually sang on key. The sermon was an encouragement to everyone. The weather was perfect. And most important, no one said anything when the minister said, "if anyone knows of any reason why these two people should not be joined together in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

 

After the wedding, people made their way to the facility where the wedding banquet was to take place. It was a beautiful and elegant facility. The tables all had white table cloths and linen napkins, and an army of formally dressed professional waiters and waitresses stood ready to serve the guests.

 

Unforeseen disaster.

 About two hundred guests had already been seated and served before anyone realized that there was a problem. Suddenly, waiters were being told that the kitchen was out of salads. Then they ran out of entrees. Meanwhile, people kept coming in. Some of the guests were perplexed regarding why there weren't being served.

 

Finally, the manager looked for and found the bride's parents. "We are out of food," he said. "What do you mean you are out of food," answered Katie's mom. "I told you to prepare enough food for 300 people." The manager turned white as a sheet. "Madam, did you really say 300 people. I wrote down 200 people. We only have enough food to feed 200 people." And time stood still.

 

B . The wedding in Cana of Galilee.

 

As bad as this situation was for Kyle, Katie, and their parents, the situation was even worse in the wedding that took place in Cana. Let us read, now, starting with the first verse of the second chapter of John. We will read down through the eleventh verse:

 

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

 

The story from Kyle and Katie's wedding was supplied to help you to feel the weight of the situation of the wedding in Cana. However, I say that the situation in Cana was even worse, and I say this for two reasons:

 

·         Modern day weddings in our common culture are usually confined to one day. In contrast, the Jewish weddings in New Testament times took place over about a week. Therefore, the effects of running out of wine would be felt for several days, while the effect of running out of food would be felt for only one day.

·         In modern day weddings I cannot imagine the groom's parents suing the bride's parents for running out of food. However, in New Testament times the groom's family was contractually obligated to provide the wine. Failure to meet this obligation was a violation of that contract and opened up the possibility of the groom's family being taken to court and sued for damages.

 

Of course, in both cases, you have the embarrassment of the families involved and the resulting stigma that would have been attached to the bride and groom for years. Those are the primary problems.

 

C. Themes from the passage.

 

So how can this passage encourage us? What does this passage have to say to unbelievers, and what does this passage offer to those who believe. I see at least two ways in which this passage can encourage us:

 

·         First there is the Witness Theme that we will continue to have throughout the first half of the Gospel of John. In citing miracle after miracle -- in this case the turning of water into wine -- John continues to strengthen his argument and build a cumulative case that Jesus is the Messiah, and John continues to work towards the goal of having people believe the gospel, a goal he states in John 20:31 where he writes, "These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." The support that this passage gives to the witness theme is the first way in which this passage can encourage us.

·         I also see a second way in which this passage can encourage us. I see much that is worthy of praise in the way Jesus' mother handled this problem, and I see much that I need to incorporate from her example into my own attitudes and methods when I set out to solve problems.

 

D.  Goals in conflict.

 

This is going to require a radical change of perspective in my own life. For right now I can tell you, without hesitation, I hate problems. I have never awakened in the morning and cried out, "Dear Lord, give me a day filled with problems." Well, maybe Mary would not have prayed that either. But I can tell you this. I have cried out some other things when I have been blindsided by problems: Oh no! How could this happen? This is just great? Why me! What did I do to deserve this? If it’s not one thing, it's something else. Or as I learned to say in Tennessee, if it's not ticks, it's chiggers.

 

As I began to examine my heart, I realized that my spiritual goals sometimes come into conflict with my operational goals. My spiritual goals are easy to name but hard to live by.

 

1.      Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

2.      Grow in holiness by becoming more conformed to the image of Christ.

 

Those are my two primary spiritual goals. My primary operational goals are different. I call these operational goals because they are reflection of how I work, play, and interact with people:

 

      1.            Freedom from debt.

      2.            Freedom from disease.

      3.            Freedom from financial problems.

      4.            Freedom from employment problems.

      5.            Freedom from family problems.

      6.            Freedom from personal problems.

      7.            Freedom from dependence upon other people.

      8.            Freedom from loneliness.

      9.            Freedom from sadness.

  10.            Freedom from guilt.

  11.            Freedom from embarrassment.

  12.            Freedom from ridicule.

 

I am not saying that every one of these goals is exemplary. Many, in fact, point to the preservation of my own happiness. I am simply saying that these are some of the objectives that come to my mind when I examine my own operational goals. It is easy to see how problems might conflict with each of these goals.

 

What I often fail to realize is that the problems that make my operational goals more elusive often, at the same time, make my spiritual goals more attainable.

 

Do I really want really want to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Do I really want to grow in holiness and be more conformed to the image of Christ? Can God use the problems in my life to help me to reach those goals? If the answer is yes, then I need to change my attitude towards problems.

 

E. Aspects of Godly problem solving.

 

How did Mary face the problem that we find in the second chapter of John? How did Mary face the manifestation of the problem, the management of the problem, and the mystery of the problem?

 

I submit that in many of the problems we face we have these three aspects:

 

1.      We have the manifestation of the problem – how do we tend to respond when problems first arise?

2.      We have the management of the problem. What measures do we take to solve the problems that are solvable and to deal with the problems that are unsolvable?

3.      We have the mystery of the problem. How do we respond to God when He deals with us in ways that seem harsh and unwarranted?

 

These are the aspects of problem solving that we will examine over the next few minutes.

 

 

II. Manifestation of the Problem.

 

First, we will consider Mary's response to the manifestation of the problem. How did Mary respond when the problem first appeared? It is instructive to note what Mary did not do.

 

A. Mary did not ignore the problem.

 

For example, Mary did not ignore the problem. She could have said to herself, "Boy, are these guests in for a surprise," and then given the matter no further thought. She could have walked up to the steward and said, "You have no wine, bummer dude," and just passed on by. She could have said to herself, "I cannot deal with this right now. I have other issues to deal with." But that is not what Mary did.

 

B. Mary did not deny the problem.

 

We also note that Mary did not deny the problem. For she could have pretended that the problem did not exist. Other people do this. How often do parents see their children heading down the wrong paths, deny the problem, and wait too late to intervene? How often does a lazy student deny that he has a discipline problem? How often does an alcoholic deny that he has a drinking problem? How often does the blasphemer deny that he has a spiritual problem? When problems seem too large to handle people often respond by denying them. But that is not what Mary did.

 

C. Mary did not run away from the problem.

 

We also note that Mary did not run away from the problem. How many have responded to family difficulties by saying, "I've had enough; I'm out of here; I'm leaving." How many have taken their own lives rather than face the consequences of their actions? How many have chosen to withdraw from people they love rather than confess the way they have sinned against them?

 

In Mary's case she could have said, "I did not create this problem, and I am not going to endure the consequences. The people who caused the problem can take the heat. But as for me, I'm leaving. I quit." Mary could have run away, but that is not what Mary did.

 

D. Mary did not accuse God.

 

We also note that Mary did not accuse God when this problem arose. In the New Testament period, the idea that God ordains all that comes to pass was already well established in the teachings of the Pharisees. In Edersheim's book, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, he writes that among the Pharisees, "The absolute and unalterable pre-ordination of every event, to its minutest details, is frequently insisted upon." Most Jews who lived during the New Testament period really did believe that God either caused or permitted everything that happened. So at a deep level Mary had to know that God had either caused or permitted the wedding party to run out of wine. How easy it would have been for Mary to have said, "The bride and groom are good people. They come from good families. Why wasn't God watching out for them? Why did God let this happen?" But that is not what Mary did.

 

E. Mary did not mistreat other people.

 

We also note that Mary did not mistreat other people when this problem arose. She did not lash out at the servants. She did not whine at Jesus and the disciples. But in our day it is quite common for office problems to become family problems. A man has a bad day at the office and instead of finding a resting place from his troubles, he lashes out at his wife and children. Thereby, instead of finding rest from trouble at home, he becomes an agent for spreading trouble, who like a doomed, rabies infested animal, spreads his fate by biting others. People often respond to their problems by lashing out at other people. But that is not what Mary did.

 

F. What did Mary do?

 

So what did Mary do? Surely she did something. Indeed she did do something. She did what she could. She took the problem to Jesus. This brings us to the second point. The first point was manifestation of the problem. Our next point is the management of the problem. What can we learn from the way Mary managed this problem?

 

 

III. Management of the Problem.

 

 Someone might object that Mary's conversation with Jesus was very short. From such a brief conversation, what could we possibly derive with respect to generic principles for managing problems? I find at least four things:

 

1.      She took the problem to Jesus.

2.      She trusted Jesus, even when He offered no encouragement towards a solution.

3.      She did all that she could to resolve the problem.

4.      She enlisted the help of others.

 

A. She took the problem to Jesus.

 

First, Mary sought the help of Jesus. In John 2:3 Mary said to Jesus, "They have no wine." Sometimes I wonder how many more problems would be solved if we would just take them to Jesus. We look at the political horizon and mourn over the lack of good Christian leaders, but have we gone to Jesus and said, "We have no leaders"? Sometimes we find ourselves in difficult situations with people. We rack our brains, trying to find a remedy. But how often do we go to Jesus and say, "We have no solution"? Mary did not presume to tell Jesus how to solve the wine problem. No, she merely placed the problem at His feet.

 

B.  She trusted Jesus, even when He offered no encouragement towards a solution.

 

Second we notice that Mary trusted in the character of Jesus, even when she was not encouraged by the words of Jesus. In John 2:4 Jesus says, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." Jesus' response brings three questions to mind:

 

·         Why did Jesus address Mary as woman rather than as mother?

·         What did Jesus mean when He said, "What does that have to do with us?"

·         What was Jesus referring to when He said, "My hour has not yet come."

 

The manner of address.

So why did Jesus address Mary as woman? Surely in our own language we would never address  our own mothers in that way. It would be considered rude and disrespectful. In fact, I would even be reluctant to directly address other individual women as woman. I might speak of the woman or that woman, but in direct address I would be more likely to use the terms lady or mam. Was Jesus being disrespectful?

 

When we want to understand the meaning of a word in one place in the Bible, it is helpful to consider how scripture uses the same word in other places, especially if the word is being used by the same writer. Consider these passages:

1.      In John 8:10 when Jesus gently responds to the woman who was caught in adultery He says, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"

2.      Another place where the direct address of woman is used in a gentle way is in John 20:11-16, where we read, "But Mary [who we understand to be Mary Magdalene] was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher).”

3.      One more passage should convince us that Jesus used the direct address of woman in a very gentle way. Surely if there was a time for Jesus to be gentle it was while his own mother watched him dying on a cross. Jesus, always looking out for others, even while his own suffering is overwhelming commits her to John's care. But how does he do this? In John 19:26 Jesus says to His mother, "Woman, behold your son."

 

Thus, it is clear that when Jesus used the word woman in direct address, he intended no disrespect. He used it in a very gentle way. Nevertheless, the question remains regarding why Jesus would address Mary as Woman rather than as mother. Even if He was not being rude or disrespectful to Mary, He certainly was answering in a way that put some distance between them. We will come back to this question shortly.

 

What does that have to do with us?

Meanwhile, let us consider Jesus’ seemingly evasive response to Mary, in which He asks, “What does that have to do with us?” Literally, the question is “What--to me and to you?”What did Jesus mean by this question?

 

First we note that the question employs an idiom. An idiom is a phrase that cannot be explained by the words that make up that phrase. We have several idioms in our common language. Here are just a few examples:

·         Fly by the seat of your pants.

·         Wing it.

·         Kick the bucket.

·         Bust the gut.

·         Throw in the towel.

·         Give it all you’ve got.

·         You hit the nail on the head.

None of these idioms can be explained by the individual words.

 

To better understand the idiom Jesus employed with Mary, we turn to the Old Testament, where this same idiom, “what to me and to you,” is used at least three times. In Judges 11:12 when a king is about to be attacked by another king, he asks, “What do you have against me?” In 2 Samuel 16:10; 19:22, when King David’s soldiers wanted to kill Shimei for humiliating David, he responds with the same phrase, but this time it means, “What do you and I have in common?” John MacArthur writes that the idiom “asks rhetorically what the two parties in question have in common, and has the effect of distancing them.” There is a sense in which Jesus is saying, “Your goals are not my goals; your objectives are not my objectives. Your mission and my mission are different.” That is what Jesus meant when he asked, “What does that have to do with us?” And this information clarifies why Jesus addressed Mary as woman rather than as mother. Mary was learning that Jesus’ kingdom issues must take priority over her personal issues.

 

My hour has not yet come.

But why did Jesus add, “my hour has not yet come.” This phrase consistently points to his crucifixion. The scene of ultimate humility, it would also be the scene where his glory would be revealed. We see the phrase used in that manner in the following verses:

·         John 7:30, "So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come."

·         John 8:20, "These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come."

·         John 13:1, "Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."

 

So Jesus distanced himself from Mary by calling her woman instead of mother, by saying that his goals and her goals were different, and by noting that now was not the time for Jesus to reveal His glory.

 

Most other mothers would have been furious. They would have argued, “What? Is that the thanks I get after all I’ve done for you? Do you know what it was like riding a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem while I was nine months pregnant? I felt every bump. And no sooner had we gotten settled comfortably in Bethlehem before we had to high-tail it to Egypt to keep you from being killed. Then we had to travel all the way from Egypt back here, and no, Joseph didn’t want to stay in Bethlehem, so we, then, had to travel all the way back to Nazareth. Then there was that episode when you were twelve years old and disappeared for three days -- about your father’s business, you said. You scared us to death! Do you think it has been easy for me to be your mother? Do you know how hard it is to raise a Messiah?”

 

But Mary did not say any of these things. She was his mother, but He was her lord, and she knew it. Not only that, but she knew His character, and because she knew His character, she knew that whatever Jesus chose to do would be right. That is how she trusted Jesus.

 

C. She did all she could to resolve the problem.

 

We also note that Mary did what she could, on her own, to solve the problem. She did not have access to a supply of wine. She did not have miraculous powers. But she did have access to people who might be able and willing to help. Thus, she talked to Jesus and she talked to the servants. In talking to Jesus she sought divine help. In talking to the servants she sought human help.

 

D. She enlisted the help of others.

 

Mary was not a lone ranger. She was willing to enlist the help of others. Thus, she said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” By the way, the word translated as servants, here, is diakonois, which is sometimes translated as deacons, not the word doulois, which can be translated as either servants or slaves. So these people were probably family members and friends of the bride and groom. Had Jesus commanded them without Mary’s intervention, they might have taken offense. But Mary paved the way for them to obediently respond to Jesus, even when Jesus’ commands to them seemed strange.

 

E. Summary.

 

In summary, we see four actions taken by Mary that I find highly commendable. She dealt with the wine problem:

1.      By taking the problem to Jesus.

2.      By trusting Jesus, even when He offered no encouragement towards a solution.

3.      By doing all that she could do to resolve the problem.

4.      By enlisting the help of others.

 

 

IV. The Mystery of the Problem.

 

When problems arise, even when we are able to solve the problems, often we continue to be perplexed by the mystery of the problems.

 

For example, most of us would have no trouble explaining why God let’s people die of cancer, but we would have a great deal of difficulty explaining it if it were to strike our own families:

·         Why me?

·         Why my spouse?

·         Why my child?

 

Tragedy seen in a general way and tragedy experienced in a personal way present very different problems for us. Personal tragedy brings us face-to-face with the character of God. We will either affirm that character or deny it. When we unconditionally affirm the character of God, it is not because we know God’s reasons. No, it is because we are willing to trust God with the unknown.

 

But in John 2:6-11, that which, at least initially, was unknown to Mary and to the wedding party is made known to us:

·         A miracle was performed.

·         The wine problem was solved.

·         Jesus was glorified.

·         The disciples were strengthened in their faith.

 

A. A miracle was performed.

 

The reality of the miracle.

In saying that a miracle was performed, we first note the reality of the miracle. It was a real miracle, not a contrivance or a misunderstanding. The servants filled the water pots up to the brim. These were the pots used to hold the ceremonial wash water. Therefore, nothing would have been in these pots but water.

 

The quality of the miracle.

Next we note the quality of the miracle. When wine was brought to the headwaiter, it was clear that the new wine was even better than the old wine. As is the case today, there were different qualities of wine. The wine that was extracted under low pressure was usually of higher quality than the wine that was extracted under high pressure. Jesus not only made wine but he made good wine.

 

The thoroughness of the miracle.

I would also note the thoroughness of the miracle. Whenever Jesus did a miracle, he did a thorough job. He did not leave anything half-done. When he healed people, there were no remaining symptoms. When he fed bread and fish to thousands of people, He did not need a fire for the fish, and he did not need an oven for the bread. Therefore, I believe that when Jesus turned the water into wine, it was wine that was fully processed. In Palestine, fermentation was a forty-day process. Wine with an alcohol content of less than ten percent was unstable and subject to spoilage (see article from Wageningen University). The wine Jesus provided was a finished product.

 

The implications of the miracle.

Now, we must carefully consider the implications of the miracle. First, Jesus’ involvement in supplying wine is consistent with teaching across scripture, where wine is commended as a gift of God and where drunkenness is condemned as an abuse of God’s gifts. Drunkenness is condemned; the use of fermented wine is not. In Jesus’ day wine was the common meal-time beverage, even among the lower classes.

 

 

B. The wine problem was solved.

 

Having addressed the reality of the miracle, the thoroughness of the miracle, and the implications of the miracle, we now turn to the temporal effect of the miracle. The wine problem was solved. Running out of wine at a wedding feast was a big deal. It was a serious problem. By providing wine, Jesus saved the family from shame and embarrassment and provided for them to avoid a possible lawsuit.

 

C. Jesus was glorified.

 

But more than temporal needs are in view here. Mankind needs to grow in understanding the glory of God, and that was further accomplished when Jesus was glorified. By turning water into wine Jesus put His deity on display. He further demonstrated that the person standing before them was more than a mere man; He was God incarnate.

 

D. The disciples were strengthened in their faith.

 

This miracle had a faith-building effect on the disciples. The disciples were strengthened in their faith. Verse eleven says, “His disciples believed in Him.” Certainly this was not the beginning of their believing. For in John 1:40-51 we find one case after another of the disciples coming to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. So here we find not the beginning of faith but a strengthening of faith, a fortification of faith that came through the experience of seeing Jesus do things that only God can do.

 

 

V. Conclusion and Application.

 

What can we learn from the way Jesus and Mary interacted with one another in this particular problem – this running out of wine at the wedding party?

 

I can tell you what I have learned. I have learned that I need to repent of the way I handle problems:

1.      Anger – I need to  repent of the anger I feel when problems arise.

2.      Ignorance – I need to repent of my failure to recognize how God uses problems to help me to meet my spiritual goals and His kingdom goals.

3.      Methods – I need to repent of the methods I use for solving problems.

 

To that end, there is much that I can learn from Mary.

 

A. Note how Mary faced problems.

 

1.      Mary did not ignore the problem.

2.      Mary did not deny the problem.

3.      Mary did not run away from the problem.

4.      Mary did not accuse God.

5.      Mary did not mistreat other people.

 

B. Note also how Mary managed the problem.

 

1.      She took the problem to Jesus.

2.      She trusted Jesus, even when He offered no encouragement towards a solution.

3.      She did all she could to resolve the problem.

4.      She enlisted the help of others.

 

C. Note how Jesus’ ultimate solution engaged more than Mary’s immediate need.

 

1.      Jesus was glorified.

2.      The disciples were strengthened in their faith.

 

D. Therefore, I need to repent of the way I react when problems arise.

 

When problems arise, I am offended, and I get angry because of the way they work against my operational goals:

 

      1.            Freedom from debt.

      2.            Freedom from disease.

      3.            Freedom from financial problems.

      4.            Freedom from employment problems.

      5.            Freedom from family problems.

      6.            Freedom from personal problems.

      7.            Freedom from dependence upon other people.

      8.            Freedom from loneliness.

      9.            Freedom from sadness.

  10.            Freedom from guilt.

  11.            Freedom from embarrassment.

  12.            Freedom from ridicule.

 

But I fail to remember how problems might be necessary for me to meet my spiritual goals:

 

1.      Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

2.      Grow in holiness by becoming more conformed to the image of Christ.

 

And I also fail to realize how God can use the problems in my life to realize higher goals, goals that are bigger than me, goals that embrace a whole church and a whole community, goals like the ones realized in Mary’s case:

1.      Jesus was glorified.

2.      The disciples were strengthened in their faith.

 

How can I really be serious regarding my spiritual goals when I despise one of the means God provides for meeting those goals? Have I not been guilty of placing my operational goals above the advancement of God’s kingdom and personal growth in holiness? My heart repents.

 

 

VI. Repentance from the Way We Face Problems

 

I need to repent in at least four ways:

1.      I need to repent of getting so angry when problems arise.

2.      I need to repent of placing my operational goals above my spiritual goals.

3.      I need to repent of placing my operational goals above God’s kingdom goals.

4.      I need to repent of the methods I use for solving problems.

 

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, you are a problem solving God, who in order to facilitate our spiritual growth and the advancement of your kingdom, trains us by giving us problems to solve. I repent of my anger, and I affirm that you know what is best. Now I ask that the Holy Spirit continue to work in all of our hearts, that we might grow in our understanding of what it means to solve problems God’s way. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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