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We all have problems but for me as a born again Christian, I call them little challenges.  Let’s face it; every human being needs a challenge.

A challenge has a way of shaking things up, and God knows that if we didn’t have challenges we’ll be too comfortable, too spoiled and unruly.  A challenge from God is a blessing in disguise, for it helps us to reflect on  our lives and do some assessing.

That’s why the Bible says, God disciplines believers as part of training, for nonbelievers as part of awakening.  Hebrews 12:7-8.  Every discipline is temporary, but we are supposed to learn from it.  As for me, I thank God for all the blessings and challenges that have helped me to become a better person.

A challenge may come for a short period, and sometimes it stays a bit longer.  It is supposed to teach us something about ourselves, and a reminder that we need to get on the right track and sort ourselves out.

To understand this, you have to put yourself in God’s position. He creates people in his image. He also decides to provide our needs because of his love.  God as the originator of parenthood, has given us a glimpse of his character. We learn it from parenthood, and as children.

For example, a parent would say to a child don’t touch fire, and gives a reason, ‘because you’ll get hurt’. At one point a child would test it out, to see if it really hurts. A mother would get upset because a child has been disobedient. In this case, most parents would discipline a child because they know that if they don’t, it would be catastrophic for a child. And after disciplining, a mother would normally comfort a child.

So, the same with God. He warns us, and comforts us after a discipline, but he also points a finger, and says, ‘I told you so! Don’t do it again or else’.  

Someone once said, ‘a life without challenges would be boring’.  For, in life we need to learn how to fight.  I’m not talking about a physical fight, but a spiritual one whereby you have to use wisdom, positivity, bravery, and endurance when faced with one.

We have a wonderful God, when a challenge comes he gives us the strength and wisdom to handle it.  And He has a way of taking it away if we can’t handle it.   On other occasions, when a challenge is long term he squeezes it,  and makes it smaller so that we can be above it.  Especially if we listen to him through Jesus, and have a positive attitude.  You’ve heard of the saying ‘time heals,’ but actually it is God who heals our broken hearts.

As a saying goes, where there is a closed door He provides an open door.  Someone may lose their job and moan about it, but little do they  know that a better opportunity is waiting around the corner.  I’ll never forget a Christian blind woman who shared on a radio, that even though she is blind, she is one of the happiest people on earth,  for she has peace in Christ.

Bearing in mind, some challenges have nothing to do with God’s discipline, they’re just a learning experience.  For the big part of life is about learning.  And we also learn from Job and Jesus, that many of our problems are brought about by Satan. i.e. broken marriages, drug problems, etc.  Also, bad decisions put us into trouble.  But God  is there to rescue us, if we are willing to reach out to him.



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When it comes to asking?  He says, ask you’ll receive.  It is in our human nature to ask, and we normally get what we want but not all the time.  But at the same time we have to be careful about what we desire, because we end up getting what we don’t need or the wrong thing, also bearing in mind that not everything comes from God.  So asking God requires good reasoning. James 4:3.   Why and what is your motive?

Jesus was the most encouraging person the world has ever seen. He was the expert when it comes to advising on how to handle life wisely.  He gave us tips, what to do when we are overwhelmed or discouraged.  He said, ‘don’t worry about life, seek God’s kingdom first and all these things will be added on to you’. Matt. 6:33.  He also says, ask and it will be given, knock the door and the door will be opened, seek and you’ll find. Matt. 7:7-12.  He gave us an insight, that God delights in giving good gifts to those who ask him.  If we are sad or troubled, we ask God to give us peace.  If we are confused we ask for guidance and wisdom.  If we lack faith and want to be saved, we ask for the Holy Spirit,  which is crucial in getting us to connect to God.  And when you get yourself to be obedient to Him, He will give you the Holy Spirit.  Acts 4:32

I find this one even more interesting but challenging, when he says, ‘therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it’ll be yours’. Mark 11:24 -25.  I don’t know about you, but I find this to be one of the most inspiring scriptures in the Bible,

flw2But it doesn’t mean we ask for a million, that’s why most of us don’t have it, which I’ll explain in another topic.  God is very generous and kind.  First of all, he has given us things we haven’t asked for, for example, life and every good thing that comes with it.  We have all been given talents, i.e. abilities.   Matt. 25:14-30.   And we have all received a seed of faith when we heard about God and Jesus.  So he says, our job is to multiply it, instead of burying it.  To make it grow by using the skills of learning, listening, and putting it into practice.

So when it comes to asking as I mentioned earlier, we have to get into the reasoning time.  Jesus taught us how to pray, and much of the prayer is about asking.   Give us our daily bread, for example. This is crucial, because, as you know, we need food to survive. That’s why we have a lot of food, because some of us are saying that prayer.  But also, bearing in mind that bread represents Jesus and his words.  He said, I’m the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry. John 6:35.  Which means the moment we put his words in our hearts and put them into practice we get transformed.

And then he says, ask for forgiveness. This is crucially important, for it helps us to be on the safe side.  We have to ask God for forgiveness of our sins through his Son.

Sometimes we may ask for something and God says no, with a reason in mind. Take for example, a man is walking in a jungle and he is tired of life.  While he is walking, he meets a lion which is full of life and eager to get on with it.  The man prays, God save me from this lion. The lion on the other hand is thanking God for the meal.

Jesus knew as human beings we are sometimes driven or limited by our imperfections and weaknesses, such as fear or insecurity.  It is so easy for us to limit our expectations due to our experiences.  But here, he is saying lift up your faith in God, because with Him nothing is impossible.  Someone may say, well I’ve got this problem I prayed about it and it is still there.  However, God has a way of giving us power to overcome a problem.  I’ve had my own experiences in this area, but He surprised me.  There is no problem on earth God doesn’t take away, for He does it in his own time.

When it comes to asking for miracles, it is good to understand the whole scenario; God gave the first disciples special powers as Jesus had.  There are things they did, like healing difficult cases, which is impossible for anyone to do nowadays.  Here is the issue,  you need to have a big faith in order to move mountains.  It seems like, it is good to have a faith in God without doubt in order to get Him to respond, especially when you say, let your will be done.  His idea is better than ours, and we also have to get into obedience in order for us to get to where we need to be.

God has given us information, and has exposed his thoughts.  All of us have just been here on earth for a short time, whether it is hundred or a bit more.  We found information which was written more than a thousand years ago.  The Bible talks about the beginning, and all the prophets that came before Jesus Christ and most of them pointed to Jesus’ coming.  Isaiah the prophet, compared Jesus to God, the way the Father operates is the same way as Jesus operated.  He said, ‘he will be called a wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of peace’…Isaiah 9: 1-7.  He is the only one who has ever thought and operated as God does – his special Son, his right hand.  And the reason is as the scripture says, unlike us he was born without sin.  Even though he was tempted it was impossible for him to sin.