“Challenges…Challenges…Challenges…How will you respond”

Challenges… Challenges… Challenges…

They do come from time to time… and sometimes they just settle in for a longer time.


Oh, Yes !!!!

We are in such a time now…

Covid and all it effects and changes has been with us for months… and will likely continue to persist for undetermined months more… And even whilst it is challenging us with its set of issues… there will be others which will raise up their dungy head and co-mingle with the pandemic.



Challenges… Challenges… Challenges…

How will you respond?


Today, take a few moments and name your greatest challenge.


Did you ask for that challenge to be in your life?

Probably not.



Can you choose how to respond to it?



Scripture has much counsel…


Psalm 54 is David’s prayer when he was betrayed to the king who sought his life (1 Samuel 23:19–24).

He declares his peril: “Strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life” (Psalm 54:3).

He did not choose this crisis, but it chose him.


However, David knows that his circumstances cannot change the character of his Lord: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them” (vv. 4–5).


As a result, he chooses to worship in the midst of his danger: “With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good” (v. 6).

A “freewill offering” is a type of peace offering (cf. Leviticus 7:16) that celebrates God’s goodness.


David continues…

He is grateful for what God has done in the past: “He has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies” (v. 7).

As a result, when he remembers God’s previous provision, he is able to trust him in the present crisis.


See this clearly…

Here is how God answered David’s prayer: as the king and his soldiers “were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, ‘Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.’ So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape” (1 Samuel 23:26–28).


In the experience of David’s… we find three facts that comprise a brief theology of suffering.


Please consider them as invitations to reframe challenges you face today.


<> Know yourself more realistically


Oswald Chambers notes: “God expects his children to be so confident in him that in any crisis they are the reliable ones.”

We cannot know if we will be “reliable” in the crisis until it comes: “It is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon who we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to trust him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in him.”


David proved his faith in God when his faith in God was tested at the peril of his life.

We do not know how high we can climb up a mountain until we try to climb a high mountain.

We discover the strength of our stamina when we test it. 


This is one way God redeems the challenges of our fallen world—by using them to reveal our true spiritual condition to ourselves.


<> Experience your Lord more powerfully


While in China… I heard my Chinese Christians friends say and sing: “The greater the persecution, the greater the revival.”

Mother Teresa observed, “You’ll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”


When David asked God to “vindicate me by your might” (Psalm 54:1), he experienced the might of God.

By contrast, James admonished his readers: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).


I am convinced that we would know more of God’s power if we sought more of God’s power.

He honors the freedom he has given us and will not force upon us what we will not receive. But if we will trust difficult times and people to him, he will use them to draw us into his transforming grace.


Luke Ditewig of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston writes: “We Brothers say that the person who most gets under your skin in the community has a special role to play. That one is your teacher. Often what annoys us in another relates to something in ourselves. Uncomfortably, he or she is the one whom you especially need on the bus. We all belong in one large, messy family of God.”


<> Reveal your Father more persuasively


Before other people will trust God for their “Rock of Escape,” we must trust him for ours.

We have no right to expect them to do what we will not do.

However, when we trust our Father in our crisis, we show them that they can trust him in theirs.


Even a well known non-believer might have had an inkling of truth to share on this subject… As, Jean-Paul Sartre, who was known for his atheistic existentialism… observed, “It is impossible to appreciate the light without knowing the darkness.”



What about the Light will you appreciate today?

The perfect Light of our Savior and Lord… The perfect Light of His Word and Love…


What say you…

How shall you respond today…

Many will see how you respond.


Draw Close, Indeed He is O’ so Near.