Have a Problem? Put Your Trust in God’s Hands

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What does it mean to put your trust in God? Do you believe you can ask God a question and trust you get an answer?

According to Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking, God will always answer if you put your trust in Him. To communicate with God, you need to state your problem, then ask for a specific answer. Believe you will get that answer and believe that right now you are gaining the power to deal with your problem.

Here is how to ask God for help, according to Peale.

Put Your Trust in God

No matter what your problem is, drawing upon the Higher Power can help heal you. There is no problem or obstacle you can’t overcome if you put your trust in God’s hands.

Problems will always come up in life, but with faith-based techniques, you can solve your problems in a correct manner that brings you the best outcome. These techniques include:

  • Put your problems in God’s hands and praying in a group of two or three.
  • Imagine God as your partner.
  • Have a plan in place to tap and use your inner powers.
  • Practice faith attitudes.

Imagine God as Your Partner

Another effective problem-solving technique is to imagine God as your partner. Christianity teaches that God is always close by, available for us to talk to, lean on, and get help from. Many believe this in a general way, but when trying to get solutions to your problems, you have to see God as truly present—as real as your spouse or friend. This divine-human relationship creates great outcomes in sorting out practical problems. 

To do this, practice talking over your problems with God, believing that he hears you and is thinking about your problem. Know that you will receive the right ideas and insights to solve your problem. Know that you will be guided to the right actions, driven by truth. 

Peale tells the story of a man who came up to him after a speech. The man had been having terrible times with his business when he read an article in which Peale talked about the concept of taking God as a partner. While this seemed like nonsense at first, the man was at the end of his rope and gave it a try. 

He prayed to God, asking God to become his partner, though he had little to bring to the arrangement. The man prayed for God’s help and advice, saying he was ready to hear it. The next day he felt brighter and happier, and more confident things would turn out OK. 

Circumstances didn’t change immediately, but he was changed—more peaceful and confident. He kept up his conversations with God. Then one day an idea occurred to him that he knew was a game-changer for his business. He wondered why he’d never thought of it before, but he knew his mind had been too tied up in negativity to function properly. He put the idea from his partner (God) into operation and things began to turn around. New ideas sprung up and his business got back on an even keel. 

Have a Plan

The power to solve problems is within you. It’s important to actualize a plan to solve your problems when they arise, making the best use of your inner powers. 

A business executive Peale knew said he could call on the “emergency powers” of the human brain, meaning in a crisis, we can often gain extra power to solve the situation. When you have a working faith, you don’t need a crisis to unleash these powers; you have access to them during normal activity. You can draw upon extraordinary powers as a habit.

When a difficult situation comes up, it’s important to know how to meet it and have a clearly defined plan to solve it—a planned use of your greater powers.

Practice Faith Attitudes

The Bible tells us that if we have faith, we can overcome any problems and rise above any defeat. Matthew 17:20 says that if we “have faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible.” This means that even the smallest amount of faith will yield results, but Peale emphasizes that the greater the faith, the greater the result. 

Peale talks about his friends Maurice and Mary Alice Flint. Maurice’s life was a mess, filled with debts and negativity. He sought out Peale’s help and was assured that if he could get his attitudes in line with God’s pattern of thought, utilizing faith, all his problems would be solved.

The first attitude both Maurice and his wife had to clear up was resentment. Both felt wronged by others and were filled with anger and spite. Maurice set to work building an attitude of faith. Though it was hard at first, his faith capacity increased as he practiced it. 

To help him visualize faith and hold onto a faith attitude, he put an actual tiny mustard seed in his pocket. When he lost the small seed, he had the idea of putting it into some kind of plastic bubble so he could carry it with him as a faith reminder. Though experts he consulted said it couldn’t be done, he had built up enough faith at this point to keep going. 

Eventually, he succeeded in putting a mustard seed in a plastic sphere, even making up beautiful pieces of jewelry and turning it into a successful business. 

Faith in this instance created a successful business—a product that helps thousands of other people keep a reminder of their faith. The bigger story, however, is how Maurice and Mary Alice used faith to transform their lives and characters.

10 Simple Ways to Solve a Problem

  1. Know there is an answer for every problem.
  2. Stay calm; your brain doesn’t operate properly under stress.
  3. Keep a relaxed, open mind and don’t try to force an answer to your problem.
  4. Look at all the facts of the matter objectively.
  5. Write them down to clarify your thinking. 
  6. Pray about whatever is bothering you, knowing that God will offer insight.
  7. Seek God’s help; believe in it.
  8. Trust in your intuition.
  9. Go to church; while worshipping, your subconscious can find creative solutions.
  10. After following these steps, the answer that comes to mind is the right answer.
Have a Problem? Put Your Trust in God’s Hands

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The Power of Positive Thinking summary :

  • That there is no problem or obstacle you can’t overcome with faith, positive thinking, and prayer
  • The practical techniques of applied Christianity
  • How to take control of the events in your life rather than be directed by them

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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