Understanding Life’s Challenges

Have you ever noticed that when we gain a certain level of experience, we begin to depend on that past experience? We tell ourselves that we’ve done that before, so we can do it again. However, when we face a challenge for the first time, we pray, knowing that it is impossible. So, we go to Father for additional resources. He provides and we have victory. However, the next time, when we face a similar, but bigger challenge, we may just assume that since we already had victory, we can just move forward and not seek Father’s resources—because we have already seen victory. Often that is enough, but when we face a new and unprecedented challenge, we need more. Although Jesus did not explain this in detail, I think this is what happened in Matthew chapter 17 when the disciples were unable to help the boy with seizures. When Jesus came he cast out the demon who caused the boy’s seizures. Although they had cast out demons before they failed this time and asked Jesus why. Jesus told them bluntly that their faith was too little. The disciples faced a situation that required them to have increased faith in Father’s power to defeat the demonic, but they depended on their past, now inadequate, success in casting out demons. Like the disciples in Matthew 17, I am coming to discover that the challenges in life are rarely just problems, but opportunities for connection with Father to have a co-victory over problems both new ones and those I’ve encountered before.

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