Third, God has allowed me to use my illness to minister more effectively to others. The truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have as much empathy for other sick people if I had not experienced my own illness.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Essentially there are three ways to deal with a problem. I call these the “3 R’s.” The first is to “run away.” The second option is to “resist it.” The third is to determine to “resolve the problem.” It won’t surprise anyone when I tell you that my preferred “R” is to resolve the problem. But that’s where the rub comes. Exactly how do you fearlessly stare a problem down and resolve it?

This is where a fourth “R” comes into play. I call this the Roller Coaster Strategy. Years ago, I was afraid of roller coasters. But it wasn’t cool to admit such a “girlie” thing, so I jumped on and did my best to look like I was having a ball. All the time my white knuckles were gripping the bar tightly, and I was pushing as far back in my chair as possible trying to brace for the inevitable.

It wasn’t until some years later that I learned a whole new way to ride roller coasters—a way that made the experience a real hoot. Instead of dreading every turn and drop, I changed my attitude. I got onboard with my mind made up to really enjoy the ride. When the coaster would finally reach its highest point, I would let go, put my hands in the air, lean forward, and dare it to give me its best shot. Wow! Suddenly with the fear gone, I loved the rush. It was fun. Today, I am somewhat of a roller coaster connoisseur.

The fact is, problems (again, I prefer the word challenges) offer the chance for change. If we embrace the challenges that hit us we have the opportunity to grow. They can make us smarter and more careful. They can help us avoid even more painful situations. They can help us help others dodge some of the pitfalls of life. Many of the most effective ministries that I’m aware of were started by broken people. Often people who have weathered tough challenges (pornography, alcohol and drug dependence, divorce, etc.) are the most able to minister to others.

A number of years ago in a live presentation, I heard Zig Ziglar say, “Life is about getting the ‘no’s’ out of the way.” All of us will have plenty of painful “no” situations during the course of a lifetime. We’re all going to be faced with good and bad. The goal is to see the bad as challenges from which we can grow the good.


Steve Diggs is best known for 2 internationally acclaimed seminars that he has presented at nearly 500 churches. Steve can be reached through either of the websites below, or call him at 615-300-8263.

No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar teaches God's people how to use God's money God's way. More at


ReTooled & ReFueled: The Essential Christian Life-Skills Seminar
 shows Christians how to live for the beautiful bye and bye—while dealing with the nasty now and now.  More