The Answer for Our Problems
By Billy Graham
First published in 1956, this is amazingly relevant today.
One of the great social problems facing the free world today is called “abnormal behavior.” Every year, millions of dollars are spent for research to find out what is wrong with people mentally.
In dealing with scores of problems every week, I’m convinced that many of the problems people describe as psychological are actually spiritual and ones that only Christ can solve.
We have lost our bearings today. We think that we’ve outgrown God. We have trusted too much in the ultimate progressiveness of man. The trouble is we have excluded God from our life. I’m convinced that people today are suffering from mental ills partially because they are being amused to such an extent and are so pleasure-mad that God is being obscured.
Disillusioned, frustrated, confused and conscience-stricken, people are searching for answers. And the question I would like to answer for you is this: What can God do for your problems? Let me tell you what He can do.
First, He can rid you of your sense of sin. For decades, psychiatrists have used a different term for sin consciousness. They call it “guilt complex.” But there is a difference between a guilt complex and the conviction of sin. No matter what label you put on it, it is something we all grapple with. The pleasure-loving son, the immoral father, the proud daughter and the vain mother—all of those whose bad habits or attitudes have wrecked their lives—are inwardly ashamed of themselves. If you cringe under a sense of failure, dogged by guilt and discouraged by weakness, Jesus Christ offers you an opportunity to be a new person.
God can rid you of your sense of sin—the whole ministry of Christ was punctuated with promises of forgiveness: “Be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you” (Matthew 9:2). “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11). His words brought deliverance to the captives of His day, and He can do the same for you.
Second, God can rid you of boredom. Modern living, with its gadgets flowing from the production line, has created a disease called boredom. Even young people who should be filled with the joy of living are bored. We have machines today to do almost everything. We push buttons to light our homes, wash our clothes, power our vehicles, do our washing, bake our bread and provide our entertainment.
But with all the conveniences, we still haven’t found a cure for boredom. Each passing generation becomes more addicted to the sedatives of life to dull the pain of living. With no great aims in life and no inner stimulation to give life meaning, people are oppressed by a sense of triviality and thwarted purpose.
Christ can save you from the bane of boredom. He awaits to give you a sense of direction and take the dissatisfaction out of your life.
A woman once stopped me on the street and said, “I’ve been bored for 10 years. Last Monday night I received Christ in your meeting, and now I have a sense of commitment and purpose I never knew before.”
Third, God can rid you of anxiety. Modern pressures have produced a disease called anxiety. However, people have always been beset by worries. Jesus said to people of all centuries: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:33-34).
Many of you are filled with a thousand anxieties. You can bring them to Christ by faith. He can bring peace to your soul, heart and mind, and can help you solve your problems.
Fourth, God can rid you of your perplexity. There is much in our nature that perplexes us. Many people are bewildered by their proneness to sin and evil. When they gaze into the mirror, they confront the troubling riddle of their own existence. They quake and tremble at the thought of their inability to cope with life. Christ can give you the answers to such questions as: Who am I? Why was I born? What am I doing? Where am I going?
All the philosophical and psychological questions of life can be answered by coming by faith to Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your Lord and Master and Savior. People want direction—we want authority, someone to control us. That someone is Christ. Let Him be your Lord. Let Him be the Pilot of your ship, and He can take away the anxiety and worry from your life.
Fifth, God can rid you of loneliness. God did not create us to live in unbearable loneliness. In that first Eden, God Himself came down at eventide and kept the man He had made from being lonely. One of the most heartening things Jesus said to His disciples was: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He came to restore the lost fellowship of people and God and to take away human loneliness.
Let Christ into your heart today, and He will take away the loneliness of your soul. He will come into your room or ride with you in your automobile and be your constant Companion and Friend, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Sixth, Christ can rid you of a sense of futility. We all have our dreams that never come true, our unrealized ambitions, our foiled hopes and our unfulfilled desires. These give us a feeling of helplessness and uselessness. Some of you are on sick beds. Many of you may never be well again physically. Some of you have been cut down in the midst of your life’s work. It seems that your life’s work is not finished, your desires are unfulfilled, your hopes have been dashed. Many are longing for a voice that comes from beyond human affairs. Something deep within you tries to make contact with someone outside the realm of time and space. The psalmist said: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).
Give your life to Christ today. A personal faith in Christ always brings with it a faith in life’s purpose and meaning. Even though the clouds have gathered, with Christ in your heart you can see the sun on the other side. There will be hope and a faith in God that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
We will never know the reason for the things that come to our lives unless we establish contact with God through Christ, and then by faith say, “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Yes, Christ can take away the sense of futility in your life.
Seventh, Christ can rid you of inner conflicts. People without God are always torn between two urges—our nature prompts us to do wrong, and our conscience urges us to do right. Conflicting desires and emotions keep us in a state of personal conflict. Medical experts have concluded that this stress is the basic cause of much physical breakdown and nervous collapse.
Paul must have been in the midst of such a civil war when he cried, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). Then he answered his own question by saying, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ, my Lord!” (Romans 7:25). Yes, God can rid you of inner conflicts if you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
There are many of you who feel friendless, forsaken and lonely. God is a friend who wants to cleanse you, help you and forgive you.
“Very well,” you say, “He can rid me of all this. But does He leave me with anything to live by?”
Yes. When He rids you of conflicts, He gives you peace. “My peace I give to you,” Christ said (John 14:27). When He takes away your loneliness, He brings to your life the power of His presence. To a lonely band of disciples He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
In exchange for perplexity, He gives the blessed assurance of His grace and adequacy. In exchange for your anxiety, He gives you a confidence and trust that knows no bounds. In exchange for boredom, He will give you a bold, courageous, purposeful faith. In exchange for your sin, He will give you pardon and imparted holiness.
“But how may I come by all of this?” you ask.
Salvation comes by grace. We cannot reason our way into the Kingdom of God. Our part is surrender and faith. His part is to bring about the new birth.
What can God do for you? He can do infinitely more than you can ask or think. It is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Will you receive Him today? Let Him come in and solve your problems. Let Him bring the peace and joy and rest to your life that you’ve longed for. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior. Bow your head right now and receive Him into your heart.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Article courtesy of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association