Challenge

Frost bitten fingers.
Frost bitten fingers.

Let God help you with life’s challenges:

No-One will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. – NIV Joshua 1:5

Joshua’s new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge – – even for a man of Joshua’s calibre!  Every new job is a challenge.  Without God it can be frightening.  With God it can be a great adventure.  Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our new challenges.  We may not conquer nations, but every day we face tough situations, difficult people, and temptations.  However, God promises that he will never abandon us or fail to help us.  By asking God to direct us we can conquer many of life’s challenges.

Challenge others with your vision:

Then I said tot hem, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”  I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.  – NIV Nehemiah 2:17-18

Spiritual renewal often begins with one person’s vision. Nehemiah had a vision, and he shared it with enthusiasm, inspiring Jerusalem’s leaders to rebuild the walls.

We frequently underestimate people and don’t challenge them with our dreams for God’s work in the world. When God plants an idea in your mind to accomplish something for him, share it with others and trust the Holy Spirit to impress them with similar thoughts.  Don’t regard yourself as the only one through whom God is working.  Often God uses one person to express the vision and others to turn it into reality.  When you encourage and inspire others, you put teamwork into action to accomplish God’s goals.

Jesus’ challenge to test him:

Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  – NIV John 8:46

In a number of places Jesus intentionally challenged his listeners to test him. He welcomed those who wanted to question his claims and character as long as they were willing to follow through on what they discovered.  Jesus’ challenge clarifies the two most frequently reasons that people miss when encountering him: (1) they never accept his challenge to test him, or (2) they test him but are not willing to believe what they discover.  Have you made either of those mistakes?

The world will challenge our faith:

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever!  Amen. – NIV 2 Peter 3:18

Peter concludes this brief letter as he began, by urging his readers to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – – to get to know him better and better. This is the most important step in refuting false teachers.  No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, no matter how mature we are in our faith, the sinful world will always challenge our faith.  We still have much room for growth.  If every day we find some way to draw closer to Christ, we will be prepared for truth in any and all circumstances.

 

©Kingsway International 1973.

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