Understanding Life’s Challenges

Could it be that challenges in the life of the child of God are more opportunities to see God’s power, rather than problems ? In John 6, Jesus posed an intriguing question to Philip. “Where shall we purchase bread to feed the crowds coming to them?” John explained that Jesus asked Philip this question to test him, because Jesus already knew what he was about to do. Philip responded in a typical and practical way. After doing a quick mental calculation, he told Jesus how much money would be required, which was understood that they didn’t have. Jesus knew that he would provide food for the people and he knew how he would do it. His question for Philip was to challenge him to adjust his thinking from a merely human practical way of thinking to thinking more along the Kingdom of God.

Jesus doesn’t bring or allow challenges into our life in order to defeat us, but to build us up in our trust in him, so that we would trust in him and not our possessions or abilities. In Romans 12, Paul wrote that the Romans should continually renew their minds. It is possible that he meant that they should adjust their thinking from a human perspective, based on the resources they can see to thinking about what Jesus wants to accomplish in their life and situation. A life challenge can then become an opportunity to Jesus’ power in and through us, rather than something that produces anxiety in us.

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