Challenges Resume

Thanksgiving Day and the time around it seems to already be a distant memory.  Our son came down from Idaho Falls to enjoy Thanksgiving with us, we had a really good time, and I can’t believe how much food we were able to consume.  What was best was having him with us.  To a little degree the day was a little reprieve from all that continued on in the world.  I am still filled with gratitude for God’s wonderful blessings and provision, He is so very good.

But now we hit the Monday after the Thanksgiving long weekend and we do so with cyber Monday on-line shopping.  Which doesn’t mean a lot to me, but I guess it does mean a lot to a lot of people.  But today does indicate that we still have many challenges to face and overcome, which in my mind can only be done through faith and trust in God.  The challenge of staying healthy, remaining somewhat financially stable, being able to stay emotionally and mentally encouraged, and looking to find ways to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.  That is a God sized challenge for any believer serious about following Jesus. 

How do we do it?  I think Jesus demonstrated in His life how a person faces challenges that seem to great to overcome.  I look to Jesus following His last supper with the disciples before His capture by the Roman cohort and Jews.


“He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives,

and the disciples followed Him.  When He reached the place, He told them,

‘Pray that you may not fall into temptation.’  Then He withdrew from them

about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, ‘Father,

if you are willing, take this cup away from Me – nevertheless,

not My will, but yours be done.’

Luke 23:16

A couple of things truly stand out and should remind us how to deal with challenges.

First, even though Jesus was facing His own death, the text says that He made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives.  He was going to the Mount of Olives to pray, a practice that Jesus did regularly.  We face challenges by keeping in prayer and Bible reading as usual.  We need God’s wisdom, His fellowship and His Word to guide us to overcome.  So, we first, as usual must be diligent in our devotional time with Jesus.

Second, we must pray with urgency or fervency.  Jesus told the disciples that they must pray in order to not fall into temptation.  We must pray with complete dependence on God to keep us walking the right path He has set before us.  If we do not urgently pray then we could easily fall into temptation’s snares. 

Finally, Jesus prays for God’s will to be done.  Did He have a preference?  Yes, His humanity was struggling with the tortuous and undeserved death on the cross, but He was surrendered fully to the Father and that is how He experienced resurrection victory.  As followers of Jesus we must be willing to follow and obey God’s will in whatever He would require of our life as a disciple.  Sometimes sacrifices are hard, but if given in obedience to the Father they are filled with blessing.

Our challenges resume, but we have Jesus as our model in being able to face such challenges and overcome them through the power of God’s love and provision!