Becoming Greater Through Challenges - Daily Devotional
We often run from challenges. Challenges push us out our comfort zone and forces us to do something that we don’t really want to do. It forces us out of our comfort zone and shows us how much power God really put in us. For this reason we shouldn’t run from challenges but we should embrace them as opportunities to grow stronger and closer to God. Today I’m going over a 5 people from the Bible who grew stronger through challenges.
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Episode Notes & Bible Verses
But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” – I Samuel 17:34-36 NKJV
David was faithful to defend his sheep when a lion and bear came to try to kill it and using this challenge that David experience it provided him with the confidenced in God to go up again Goliath. David realized that the Lord was with him because of his covenant. We also need to remember that as we face challenges that we are in covenant with God as well. The victory is ours in Jesus name as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:57
And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” – Exodus 7:1-5
Moses went before pharaoh 9 times to ask for the Israelites to be released. Every time Pharaoh said no except the last. This was a huge challenge for Moses because on top of being a Hebrew slave and asking for all his people to be released, Moses also had a speech impediment so speaking was not is strongest skill. This challenge prepared Moses to be the leader of Israelites as he lead them through the wilderness for 40 years before they went into the promise land. So you may have a weakness that is challenging to you but God wants to show himself strong through that “weakness” so He can get the glory.
So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. – Judges 6:27-28 NKJV
This was a huge challenge for Gideon. The lord had just spoken to him and told him that he was a mighty warrior. God instructed him to tear down the alters dedicated to baal. This was a challenge for him because his Father and those in his community built that alter. He had to go against those who were closest to him to obey Gods calling. This is relevant to us as well because when God calls us to do something, we may need to go against the people closest to us and be obedient to what God says. This challenge made Gideon stronger and we see in the next chapter that God was able to work through Gideon and only 300 men to defeat the Midianites.
The widows oil
Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.” – II Kings 4:3-7 NKJV
The challenge that this widow faced was that her children were about to be taken from her into slavery to pay off debts. Elisha gave her directions on what to do and she followed the instructions to gather jars from her neighbors and pour the oil in her house into them. She was able to sell the oil, pay off the debt and live off the rest. This one could be relatable to some of us today who are facing a financial challenge. This challenge that you are facing should cause you to look in your house. God will show you what you already have that can be a blessing to you. And just as this widow faced this challenge, she was able to live off the solution that God gave her.
3 Hebrew boys in the fire
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. – Daniel 3:24-26 NKJV
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. – Daniel 3:30 NKJV
These three Hebrew boys knew who God is and they didn’t bow to worship the image of the king. They faced a challenge that was the fiery furnace and the lord showed up in the fire with them. Once they overcame this challenge they were promoted in the province of Babylon. As we go through the day to day challenges at work or wherever, we need to remember not to bow to the Idols of this world. As we remain faithful to God through the fire, he show us up in the fire with us. Stay strong and stay faithful to God.