PASTOR’S CORNER: Better solution than ‘grin and bear it’


West / California 14 Views

By Rev. O.L. Johnson

Religion Columnist

Life offers us a long series of challenges, all the way from minor aggravations to major medical conditions with serious prognoses.

We’re pretty well schooled on where to go for relief from the major challenges, straight to the doctor for diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions and healing. Of course, that is the smart thing to do medically; but, what about those minor, non-medical things?

Most of us usually adopt the age-old “grin-and-bear-it” philosophy of life. If we just hang in there, it will all work itself out in the long run.

That might occasionally work, but I’ve found out in my brief lifetime that it is never a good plan to do nothing and rely on fate to solve my problems in life. I’ve found a better way that does not involve a long wait time.

If you’re thinking that God is at the center of this, you are exactly right. He is there for me every time, and he’ll be there for you too, if you so desire.

There’s really no need to struggle through the “grin-and-bear-it” times in life when God offers a better, quicker way. Let’s do a little biblical background to see how this way can work for you and all of mankind.

Within the context of the troubles we encounter in life, scripture assures us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). The word “our” in this text refers to all of us in God’s family. No one is excluded from its provisions, which include his shelter, his power and his help whenever we encounter trouble in life.

The word “trouble” includes anything in life that can be seen as adversity, affliction or tribulation, and which causes us to feel anguish or distress. This text promises the people of God that he is ever present with them in all of life’s negative circumstances.

But how do we access his power and his help during those times? This text doesn’t tell us, but there’s one that does.

The psalmist in Psalm 33:22 petitions God to “let thy mercy (kindness, favor) O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope (be patient, trust) in thee.”

We learn here that God favors us in proportion to the degree to which we patiently trust him. God moves because we trust him, and we trust him because we know from experience that he will move on our behalf.

So we know then that our trust in him is the controlling factor. But trust is not a trait that just comes with the territory. It must be developed within each of us through exercising trust in God over a long period of time.

In other words, we must build a trust history with him so that trusting that he will do what he promises comes second nature to us.

Once this trust factor becomes ingrained within and we act on it, we can be assured that the problem will be resolved to our satisfaction. Forget about the grin-and-bear-it philosophy. God’s not in it, and if God’s not in it, it’s not worth your time.

I have not found anywhere in the scriptures where God favors it as a preferred method of solving life’s problems. Trust controls.

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church, Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in South Los Angeles.

Pastor’s Corner is a religious column that looks at the relevancy of scripture in life today. The column will appear monthly in The Wave and on its website,