I’ve heard Christians say the Jesus solved all their problems. Now, I know there have been times when my faith has seen me through difficult times and that circumstances have worked out well for me when the opposite was not only a possibility 08 prosperity gospelbut an expectation. Yet, the truth is God never promises to deliver us from our problems that we all face in this world today. One writer asks: “The moment you were born into God’s family, did someone explain that you were going to have many trials in the Christian life? Or that your life may at times be harder than it was before you became a Christian? If not, they should have.” Truly, Jesus said, “in the world you will have problems” (John 16:33). Paul said that all who desire to live godly lives will have problems (see 2 Timothy 3:12). Luke says that we only enter into the Kingdom of God through many problems (see Acts 14:22).

I really struggle with the prosperity theology so commonly proclaimed by many television evangelists today. I get tired of the outright assertions and backhanded suggestions that if you only had enough faith your cancer would go away. If you only believed stronger your child wouldn’t be using drugs. If you just had enough faith your problems would all be resolved! There is a deep theological word that sums up that kind of theology: Baloney! I regularly meet people who have fallen prey to this teaching. I even had one person say that when they became a believer it marked the end of their problems. I agree with the guy who said, yes it marks the end of your problems, the front end! I have problems. You have problems. All God’s children have problems.

But we have a resource that we’ve never had before by which to manage the problems of life. That resource is our faith! Faith is not just believing that God exists, but that He will deal with all evil in all of its forms sooner or later (See Hebrews 11:1). Faith is trusting God to have our best interest foremost in mind regardless of the problems we may be facing in life. It’s believing God is a God of love and only allows problems in our lives as the baker allows some nasty ingredients into the recipe because when the cake comes out of the oven it’s better for having had those ingredients. That’s why the author of Hebrews tells us that in the midst of the race we keep our eyes on the prize. Hebrews 12:2 says we should keep our eyes on Jesus as we hurdle the obstacles in the race of life. He’s the founder and perfecter of our faith. Who suffered more? Who had more problems? Corrie ten Boom, a woman of faith with huge problems, put it this way, “When your eyes are on the world, you are oppressed; when your eyes are on yourself, you are depressed; when your eyes are on Jesus, you are at rest.”