Everybody has challenges – things, people or events – that sometimes seem insurmountable but as Christians we don’t need to face them alone. They should drive us to God and His provision, knowing they are working for our good; that through them we might be conformed to the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:28,29). We will only make spiritual progress by walking with Him through the trials and suffering which He will enable us to conquer (Josh 1:5).
Challenges provide opportunity to establish priorities, stir us into action and are catalysts for change.
The correct reaction is to confront them and a find a solution; be an over-comer rather than running from the tests that are pressing so hard against your spirit. The present situation is, if I’m yielded to Christ, the best method to shape me for eternity.
Don’t fight them – use for your good
and Spirit from us (Rom 8:37-39). God provides numerous opportunities or challenges by which His refining process – working His character into us and the outward displaying of that to others – is achieved, for "all things work together for our good" (Rom 8:28; Gal 5:22,23). Rise up in His strength and power to meet and be victorious in the challenges.
Some days it seems that everything that can go wrong will go wrong! What to one person is a real challenge, to another person is not a problem at all. A right mental attitude, relationship with Christ and obedience to Him are essential. Live one day at a time, sufficient unto it are the challenges it will bring; tomorrow will present it’s share, so don’t try and overcome tomorrow’s hurdles today (Mt 6:34). Yes, plan and learn from the past as well as making provision for the future but live in the present.
Life is full of challenges! Don’t resent but welcome them, they are our opportunity for an increase of the grace of God as the self-life and its evil reactions are replaced with divine qualities (Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4). There is always something to frustrate and test our spirituality and devotion to Christ.
Two aspects to keep in mind
1/. Is my reaction to the challenge God honouring – will it make me better or bitter?
2/. Do I treat those who caused this challenge the same as I would like to be treated?
Don’t compare your trials with those of others or wish you were in their situation – God has a different personal blueprint and pathway designed to work His purposes out in each believer (Jn 21:21,22).
It’s not a time to question where God is in all this, but confess ‘Lord you have my best interest at heart, help me to co-operate with you.’ Challenges are not designed to destroy me but make me stronger. Be positive and look for the good in each situation.
We will be presented with greater challenges than we can handle in our own ability (Jdg 6:14-16). Keep your focus on, and confidence in the Lord, who is for us, not the size of the giant obstacle that would block you from victory. “I Come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” should be our battle cry too (1 Sam 17:4-9,41-50). Joshua challenged the people, “Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve…But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15). To follow God as He requires, all other gods must go.
God’s challenge to us is, ‘you do what I have asked and I’ll bless you abundantly’ (Mal 3:10-12). Jesus called, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). In each situation, we are required to take the first step, then as we respond in faith we discover the Lord is there with us.
The challenge is for each of us to live up to our rightful position as a child of God, walking in victory as an over-comer to reach our potential in Christ, and not be pushed around by Satan who would try to keep us in bondage to sin and self.
Welcome challenges, they are our means to advance and grow
peace with. Paul was earnestly praying about a matter, until God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Cor 12:7-10). He accepted the ‘No’ and used it for his benefit – what an attitude! Do I "Bless the Lord at all times" being joyful and giving thanks in all circumstancs knowing He is always with us and allows 'storms' for our good as we reach out to Him (Ps 34:1, 119:71; 1 Thes 5:16,18; Heb 13:5).
Non-Christians need to be challenged as to what they are doing with Christ’s offer of salvation; the challenge to Christians is are they living for Christ; to myself, am I closer to Christ this month than last? Challenges are part of the journey; facing them is the first step to successfully overcoming them.