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Problems Become Miracles

April 2007
By: Mark Hiehle
Harmony Ierley, photo available at www.hh76.com/photocd

It happens to everyone, probably more often than we care to admit. With the continual pressures and problems that come with ministry, we sometimes lose our focus. We begin to feel overwhelmed, inadequate, and burdened as though the weight of the ministry was all on our shoulders. It happens when you are confronted with a problem that leaves you grasping for direction. For the counselor, it is during those times that you feel it is up to you to have the right words to say. You should be able to have the ability to see through the facade of the moment and lead the client to see the answer to her problems. For the director, you feel the pressure of the future of the ministry as you calculate the needs of the ministry in comparison to its cash flow. It is as though a voice whispers in your ear, "Now what are you going to do?"

Because these experiences are common to us all, please allow me to encourage you from God's Word. I invite you to read this article with an open Bible. The work that the Lord has called you into is not like any other, because it deals with that which is eternal. In fact, there are only two things in this world that are eternal—God's Word and people, both of which make up pregnancy center ministry each and every day. Allow the account recorded for us in Mark 9:14-29, which is a perfect picture of the work that we do, to help refocus your mind for ministry.

The chapter begins as Jesus is with Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. The rest of the disciples were endeavoring to do ministry in the town nearby. They were confronted with a problem that they couldn't handle which resulted in anger, frustration, and conflict. As Jesus came down from the mountain and approached the town, He asked what the argument was about. The situation was that a father had brought his son to the disciples so that they might drive out the spirit that had overtaken him, but they could not. The disciples did everything they knew to do, but nothing changed for the boy. They tried everything they had seen Jesus do, but the boy remained demon-possessed.

Every day we are confronted with problems that we cannot handle. We do not have enough intellect, resources, or power to fix the problems that plague our clients. The best thing that we can ever do is that which Jesus directed in verse 19, "Bring him to me." As a ministry to scared and hurting people, that is the most important task that we have—leading them to the One who will never leave them or forsake them. The One who can meet their every need. The One who can forgive their sin and heal their heart. The One who is the Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace. We have the amazing opportunity to lead them to meet and know Jesus personally.

As the scene continues to unfold, Satan is not going to give up the boy without a fight, nor does he today. The boy is thrown to the ground, and he flails about. It is fascinating to see that Jesus is not panicked nor in a hurry as He goes to the father and asks how long his son has been possessed. It seems so uncommon for us not to try to "fix" the problems that confront us as soon as possible, sometimes even before fully understanding all that is involved. The father explains that from childhood the demon has tried to kill his son.


"EVERY MIRACLE IN
SCRIPTURE ALWAYS
STARTED OUT AS A
PROBLEM. IF YOU
HAVE A PROBLEM
YOU CAN'T HANDLE,
YOU'RE A CANDIDATE
FOR A MIRACLE."



That is the work of our enemy. Satan does not just want to simply frustrate us, trip us up, or dash our dreams. He desires to destroy our clients and us. The goal of our adversary is to steal, kill, and destroy. It is amazing that the approach Satan uses has not changed since Genesis 3:4. The same lie that he told to Adam and Eve, he still speaks to us and our youth today. In the Garden, he told the first couple that if they ate the forbidden fruit they would not surely die. "The Lie" was that they could disobey God's law, violate His commands, and get away with it. They wouldn't suffer any consequences at all. That same lie is told today in our popular music, in the movies, and on TV. He whispers that we will not experience any consequences due to sinful behavior. Yet our clients come to us suffering the backwash of that lie with STDs, broken relationships, and unplanned pregnancies. To those who seek to minister, he lies and says that God will not keep His word. He says, "Just because God made a promise, it doesn't mean that He will keep it." Like our clients, we can entertain those thoughts and live in disbelief.

Just as the father pleaded for help in Mark 8: 22, we too need to seek God's power and direction with desperate abandon. It is then that the truth of Jesus' revelation in verse 23 becomes reality, "All things are possible for one who believes." Nothing is impossible for God!

After the boy was healed and the disciples were again alone with Jesus, they asked Him why they could not drive out the demon. Jesus told them that when Satan has such a foothold or powerful presence, it takes more than the usual to drive him out and experience deliverance. There are times when situations demand that we make specific sacrifices in order to experience a different level of God's moving or provision in our lives. In verse 29, Jesus stated, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." The discipline of fasting is a powerful tool that is neglected in most of our Christian experience.

The act of fasting is our desire to say to God that we are so serious about God intervening in our life or situation that we are willing to sacrifice—give up something and replace it with prayer and wholehearted reliance. Through self-denial and intense purposeful prayer, we have the attitude that unless God intervenes, nothing is going to happen, and we are desperate for God to move. We are not satisfied with the usual. We need the supernatural.

Have you come up against a wall that seems as though it is unmovable? Is there an area where Satan has been allowed to gain a foothold? Is there a problem that seems to have no solution? Take heart, because a miracle can happen! I love what John Maxwell once said, "Every miracle in scripture always started out as a problem. If you have a problem you can't handle, you're a candidate for a miracle." Just as this boy was set free and delivered, so God can do a miracle for you and your clients. Hope and the movement of God's hand are just a prayer away. Through wholehearted devotion, abandon, trust, and faith, we too can experience the miracle working of God. Don't give up, but continue to believe.

Mark Hiehle is Executive Director of Hope Pregnancy Center, Clarksville, Tennessee. He can be reached at mark@highcalling.com.

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