Posted by: rcottrill | April 4, 2014

The Saviour Can Solve Every Problem

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Words: Oswald Jeffrey Smith (b. Nov. 8, 1889; d. Jan. 25, 1986)
Music: Bentley DeForest Ackley (b. Sept. 27, 1872; d. Sept. 3, 1958)

Wordwise Hymns (Oswald Smith)
The Cyber Hymnal (Oswald Smith, Bentley Ackley)

Note: According to Oswald Smith, the text for this song was written some time between 1913 and 1915, but it took awhile before it was turned into a song. Around 1931, Dr. Smith sent the poem to Bentley Ackley, who promptly set it to music, and published it the following year. Ackley was involved in a radio program at the time, and he says that they used the song for the opening and closing theme for awhile, adding, “The preacher weaves his morning message around the thought of this song.”

T he claim is a bold one: that the Lord can solve every problem. So is that true? Let’s think about several things.

1) God is omnipotent. God can do anything–as long as it doesn’t violate His essential character or His previously stated purpose. God cannot lie, for example (Tit. 1:2), because He’s a God of truth (Deut. 32:4). Otherwise, “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). And as Jeremiah confesses, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (Jer. 32:17).

2) We also know that the Lord will fulfil His purpose for us, as Christians. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). He is determined to bring believers to maturity, and ultimately to exalt them to heavenly glory. And whatever happens in our lives becomes the raw materials that He employs to accomplish that (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:11-12).

3) Then what about our “problems”? The answer is it all depends. It depends on the cause of those problems, and on God’s purpose in the immediate situation. Sometimes a problem may be caused by personal sin. If so, the answer begins with confessing and forsaking the sin. Other times the problem may be the result of Satan’s opposition to the cause of Christ. In that case, we can pray for the Lord to help us, and He will.

Other problems may simply be the result of living in a fallen world that is under the curse of God. They are difficulties that all of us face in daily life, whether believer or unbeliever. And sometimes, as we pray, the Lord will reveal a natural and practical solution that involves the use of gifts He has already given us–but perhaps applied in a new and creative way. Or the Lord will send into our lives others who can help us to deal with the problem.

The Lord will not always remove difficult circumstances from our lives. Dealing with them becomes part of the maturing process, and a way that He can bring glory to Himself as we trust in Him. In all circumstances we can appeal to God for His daily grace and mercy.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

Paul provides an example for us (II Cor. 12:7-10). We don’t know exactly what his physical malady was. There are possible clues that it had to do with his eyesight. But though he prayed on three different occasions for healing, it didn’t come. Instead, God said He would provide daily grace to deal with it.

“He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Cor. 12:9).

This appears to be the kind of problem-solving that Oswald Smith presents to us in his gospel song. We can see it in allusions to Paul’s experience with his physical ailment. And Dr. Smith said the song had also been an encouragement “to those who have marriage problems, financial problems, family and business problems.”

1) The Saviour can lift ev’ry burden,
The heavy as well as the light;
His strength is made perfect in weakness,
In Him there is power and might.

The Saviour can solve ev’ry problem,
The tangles of life can undo;
There is nothing too hard for Jesus,
There is nothing that He cannot do.

2) The Saviour can bear ev’ry sorrow,
In Him there is comfort and rest;
No matter how great the affliction,
He only permits what is best.

1) In what kind of problem(s) in your own life have you recently found this to be true?

2) What other hymns do you know and love about God’s ministry to us in times of pain and difficulty?

Wordwise Hymns (Oswald Smith)
The Cyber Hymnal (Oswald Smith, Bentley Ackley)


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