A problem is a question proposed. In logic, a preposition that appears neither absolutely true nor false, and consequently may be asserted either in the affirmative or negative. In geometry, a proposition in which some operation or construction is required, as to divide a line or an angle, to let fall a perpendicular, etc. In general, a problem is any question involving doubt or uncertainty, and requiring some operation, experiment or further evidence for its solution.The Oxford English Dictionary

Problems are initiations that embody the acute and chronic forms of one need, to look up in consciousness to God, the Light, and to ask for help.

Edna Lister on Problems

You must overlook the problem, move higher in consciousness, and see God.—Edna Lister, The Lord’s Prayer, September 26, 1934.

A problem is a situation that your own thinking, emotions and imagination have produced. If you insist on living with a problem, taking it to bed, taking it to work, taking it to play, taking it out to exercise it, it will thrive.—Edna Lister, Problems, December 5, 1934.

Discuss your problems only with those who can help you.—Edna Lister, How To Improve in Every Way, January 4, 1936.

Remember the one answer for all problems is: A little more love, a little more praise.—Edna Lister, August 14, 1938.

You meet problems each day and see problems to conquer. Never look on the dark side.—Edna Lister, May 6, 1943.

The only bad of any problem is in your to-the-self emotions and thinking, which consume the good that is in the heart of each problem, searing the whole black, leaving only charred embers and ashes.—Edna Lister, January 10, 1945.

You must rise above the problem in your thoughts, looking down upon it, not up to it.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1945.

You do not have a problem outside, external to you; you have a problem inside.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

Problems are God’s call to arms; He needs your help to release Power. You will never need to be called when you always release Power.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1945.

When you quit living with your problem, and live with God, the problem will shrink. If you think of it all the time, you are feeding the problem.—Edna Lister, Jesus’ Prayer of the Ages, April 27, 1947.

To settle problems, go up in consciousness. Don’t use force.—Edna Lister, June 27, 1947.

When you discover how to meet a problem, you lift every group with a similar problem.—Edna Lister, What Is Freedom? July 10, 1955.

When desire mates with will, you don’t see problems, and what is troublesome just isn’t there.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1957.

You have no outside problems or initiations. You have only the little self to lift and treat.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1957.

If you do not grasp every subconscious straw, it will come up when you have weighty problems, when it will hurt or embarrass you.—Edna Lister, December 25, 1957.

Metaphysically, you never treat just yourself, but others’ problems too. When you need and have a fervent desire to help, soul vision precipitates Power from the invisible to the visible. What you release in prayer fulfills others’ prayers; the Father doubles that and fills your need.—Edna Lister, The Miracle of Increase, April 27, 1958.

When another wants you to be the "dumping ground" for his problems, neutralize his thought processes with Light. Ask him what he thinks. It doubles your responsibility to know too much about another’s problems.—Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958.

To admit a problem is to admit you have lost contact with the Source, where there is always enough Power to solve any problem. You would never admit a problem if you had enough real desire to lift your share of world problems.—Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958.

Pin your problem on the wall above you and ask for Light on it. Light will fill you and the problem to make it impersonal until you are like another person analyzing the problem. Use logic, reason, discernment, discrimination, and discretion.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1958.

There are no problems, only people who are adequate, or too lazy, mentally or spiritually to solve a problem. When you are inadequate to solving a situation, you are not reaching high enough when the problem is presented. Every problem ever presented on earth has enfolded its own answer. Often you throw away the answer with the wrappings. To hate having a call made upon your time or effort throws the answer away as hate. To pity the self, for being given too many lessons or problems, consumes the answer in one swallow. To ascend and reach for love, joy and glory when a problem knocks at our door, gives the problem’s answer full visibility. Each problem is a promotion in the kingdom. Problems are the new, strong links in your chain of life, a source of new strength, unfailing courage and unconquerable faith.—Edna Lister, February 23, 1959.

Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."—Matthew 16:24. The law helps those who help themselves. You must work out your own problems and salvation.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

When presented with a problem, go up instantly and apply law for the answer. The self must be completely out of the picture. When the little self is involved, you descend into hidden subconscious rooms where you have stored hurts and griefs.—Edna Lister, November 19, 1959.

Expect problems, since every promotion means a challenge to draw on all God has given you, all you know, all your faith.—Edna Lister, Feed My Sheep, November 22, 1959.

Most of your problems are nothing more than old habits.—Edna Lister, January 3, 1960.

Your approach to each day’s problems must apply old and tried laws in new combinations, new formulas.—Edna Lister, A New Technique for Living, March 7, 1960.

The quickest way to understand anything is to stand under the Light as you study the problem.—Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

Learn to view problems as a challenge to reach for more Light.—Edna Lister, Christ Now Reigns, July 9, 1962.

A problem well cared for waxes fat and thrives. You need to invest the same amount of time in exercising faith and nourishing it by praise.—Edna Lister, The Gift of Light, September 30, 1962.

God moves through you to cleanse as the River of Life while you sleep; if you are high in consciousness upon awakening, you can see the answer to a problem.—Edna Lister, Ezekiel’s Wheels, April 28, 1964.

Keep your nose out of your own business. Once you have put a problem on a cloud, thank the Father for His Power and miracle, and lift it to His altar of Light.—Edna Lister, The Ten Lepers, November 15, 1964.

God gave us three creative faculties to function as the Light — imagination, thinking and desire. Since the spoken Word is still God, you must set the new transforming vibrations into action by the spoken Word. All your problems and difficulties come from your inability to accept and assume your full responsibility for every word you use.—Edna Lister, Let There Be Light, March 16, 1969.

The world cannot present any problem that the Love of God cannot solve.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924-1971.

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A Treatment for Dealing With Problems

Pin your problem on the wall above you and ask for Light on it. Light will fill you and the problem to make it impersonal until you are like another person analyzing the problem. Use logic, reason, discernment, discrimination, and discretion.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1958.

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New Testament on Problems

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.—Matthew 5:44.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?—Matthew 6:24-27.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.—Matthew 6:33-34.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.—Matthew 10:16-20.

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.—Matthew 10:28.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.—Matthew 11:28-30. [The Christos yoke is easy and his burden is Light.]

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.—Matthew 13:18-23 and Mark 4:14-20.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.—Mark 11:22-24.

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.—Matthew 14:22-32.

Be not afraid; only believe.—Mark 5:36.

Every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.—Mark 9:49. [Salt symbolizes incorruption.]

But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.—Mark 13:11.

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.—Luke 6:22-23.

Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.—Luke 6:27-28.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no [spiritual] fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.—Luke 8:11-15.

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.—Luke 10:19. [Christ gives us authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us.]

I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.—Luke 12:4-5.

And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.—Luke 12:22-32.

Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that [Judgment] day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.—Luke 21:34-35.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.—John 14:1-4.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.—John 15:18-19.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.—Acts 10:34-35. [God shows no partiality.]

We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.—Romans 5:3-5.

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.—Romans 14:1.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.—1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.—1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.—Galatians 6:1-5.

Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.—Ephesians 4:1-3.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.—Colossians 3:12-14.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.—1 Thessalonians 5:14-22.

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.—2 Timothy 1:7.

All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.—2 Timothy 3:12.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.—2 Timothy 4:2-18.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.—James 1:2-4.

Ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.—James 1:6-8.

The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.—James 3:5-6.

Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.—James 4:4.

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.—James 5:10.

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously—1 Peter 2:18-23.

if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.—1 Peter 3:14-17.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.—1 Peter 4:1-2.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.—1 Peter 4:12-19.

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.—Revelation 2:7.

He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.—Revelation 2:11.

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.—Revelation 2:17.

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.—Revelation 2:26-28.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.—Revelation 3:5.

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.—Revelation 3:12.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.—Revelation 3:21.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of trouble: Latin turbidus, "confused."

Etymology of problem: Latin problema, problemat-, from Greek, from proballein, "to throw before, put forward."

Troubles and problems are initiations.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Edition 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Related Topic

Problem-Solving: J. Ross Whitehead article; Steel Magazine, October 1977.