What is the greatest challenge you face as a Christian?
Life is indeed full of daily challenges. However, someone has correctly
written, “Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It’s just a
matter of how you view them” (Unknown). Challenges can and will help us to grow
and to become spiritually what God expects each one of His children to be. Challenges
are seldom a pleasure when we are in the midst of them, but nonetheless they are
profitable for our growth and being made stronger. What are some of the daily
challenges for God’s child?
In the first place, it is often a daily challenge to
relinquish myself to God. Surrendering our will to the will of the Father
is often a true test of one’s Christianity. How often do we want to do those
things that please us instead of those things that please God? Jesus clearly
taught, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24a). The idea of “denying” oneself means
that we, “forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests”
(Thayer, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament e-sword). Truly,
God’s children must display Paul’s attitude, “I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and
gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Christian, please, accept the challenge
to relinquish yourself to God!
In the second place, it is often a daily challenge
to reevaluate myself before God. Reevaluation is at the very heart of being
a child of the King. In commanding the church at Corinth concerning the observance of the Lord’s
Supper, Paul wrote, “But let a man examine himself…” (1 Corinthians 11:28a). Examination
and reevaluation is taking a close look at oneself. The examination process
means that one must, “scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not)” (Thayer).
Am I really practicing the type of religion that God expects? In what areas am I
missing the mark? It is so very easy to look at our brethren and see where they
are missing the mark, but it is a complete challenge in many cases to look at
ourselves. Yet, inspiration still cries, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in
the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus
Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Christian,
please, accept the challenge to reevaluate yourself before God!
Challenges need not to overwhelm or crush us, but
rather they should be opportunities for growth and to become better in our
daily service to God. When we learn to accept the daily challenges of
relinquishing ourselves to God and reevaluating ourselves before God, we are on
the road to growth and maturity. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen”
(2 Peter 3:18).