Challenges Come to Change (by Fenny West)

Challenges Come to Change

Challenges come to change my playing field.
Trials come to give me triumphs.
Tests come to give me testimonies.
Barriers come to give me breakthroughs.
Obstacles come to give me spiritual muscles and miracles.
Temptations come to thrust me into promotion.
Adversities come to introduce me into prosperity.
Storms come to bring the revelation and possibility of:

 calm in the midst a storm-peace that passes understanding.
Fires come to refine me to radiate the glory of God;

to turn my dross into gold, and enable me go from one degree of glory to another.
Darkness comes so that light may be brought out of it.
Afflictions come to work for me, the exceeding weight of God’s eternal glory.
In my weakness God’s strength is perfected.
The Greater One is inside of me and whoever is born of God overcomes the world;

as He is so am I in this world;

Jesus said 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John16:33

That is why I know that I know,” ALL THINGS are working together for my good because I love God and I am the called according to His purpose. 
His grace is sufficient for me. He is faithful. He will not forsake His own. I dwell in the secret  place and abide under the shadow of His wings. 
Whatever comes has a “sell-by date.” 
God is always at work in me both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper. I am ever blessed in my going out and in my coming in. I am the head and not the tail.

The same applies to you if you know Him in a personal way. So count it all joy when you encounter diverse temptations and tests and opposition. They have come to change your playing field. Personalise and believe the first paragraph of this article. Repeatedly say it to yourself. Repeatedly speak it and announce and declare it to your challenges: financial, relational, persecution, spiritual, marital, business, mental, emotional, ministerial, health, barrenness etc etc

 Challenges change come to change your playing field.

How you responds to the challenge will determine the outcome.

The troubles that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego faced refined, recharged their faith and brought their promotion and prosperity and great glory to God. Their attitude determined their altitude.  They pleased God with their faith, refusing to compromise even when their lives were on the line. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Dan3:16-18

God was impressed with their faith of not compromising to protecting their lives. God was able to stop them being thrown into the Fiery burning furnace which had being heated seven times hotter.  It was so hot that those who threw them in were licked up by the flames. And as they landed in the furnace, God sent His Son.

When the King was restless in the night and came to see what had happened to them. What greeted him was amazing, stupendous, miraculous, unbelievable.

24   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.”

25   “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.”

26   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.27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

28   Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

30   Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

 So opposition brought their elevation, prosperity, promotion and recognition and glorification of their God.

 

That is my expectation in whatever challenges that come my way. I will look forward to the coming glory, like Jesus and endure my cross as a good soldier of Christ.

The persecution that the early Christians faced caused them to spread the gospel and make inroads into many cities and communities. That is my expectation in persecution.

Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them,2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Acts4:1-4

13   Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts4:13

 

When Saul of Tarsus was breathing havoc and trying to destroy the Church, little did he know that  the more he opposed the Church, the more he was being drawn into God’s net.

1      Now Saul was consenting to his death.

     At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Acts8:1-2

 

Without a doubt the Church prayed for Saul to stop persecuting the Church. God exceeded their expectation when Jesus Himself arrested him on the road to Damascus on his way to arrest believer.

The greatest enemy of the Church was not only saved but turned from Saul to Paul, from trouble into a trophy.

1      Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3      As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5      And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

     Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

6      So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

          Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts9:1-6

 

Not long after being saved he began to preach the gospel to the astonishment of other believers.

 How is that for God’s ability to make all things work together for the good of those who love Him?

How is that for our light affliction working for us, an exceeding weight of eternal glory?

How is that for God’s ability to bring light out of darkness?

This is why18 … we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

So my friend:

6      In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,1Pet1:6-7

2      My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James1

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;Phil1:6

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.Phil2:13

31   What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

4      You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world 1John4:4

4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.1John5:4

14   Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.2Cor2:14

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1Cor15:57

7      But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed -2Cor4:7-9

Daniel was distinguished and excelled and it brought jealousy and conspiracy against him. But he maintained his integrity and faith and boldness. 
Despite the law promulgated to silence him, he remained bold and strong, trusting in His God. He refused to compromise despite the threat of being served to hungry lions. 
When he defied the law and was thrown into the lion’s den, God sent His angels to protect him. The lions became his pals and he was able to use them for his pillows.
God not only saved him but used his courage to glorify His Name. Besides, Daniel was promoted and prospered in the land. 

 

That is my expectation too when I am thrown into a “lions’ den” for any reason. That should be your expectation too if you know Him and love Him.

What shall I say about Paul and Silas, mercilessly beaten, battered and broken and bleeding and thrown into a dungeon of a prison, their hands and feet in shackles, for preaching the gospel? What was their response?  Instead of licking their wounds and blaming God, at midnight they prayed and sang praises to God. And God so enjoyed the aroma of their praise that He sent an earthquake that rocked the foundations of the prison and not only set them free but He used the occasion to save the centurion and his household. He exceeded their expectations of Paul and Silas beyond their imagination. And there was great joy in the house. Glory be to God!

This is how ALL Things can work together for the good of those who love God and are the called according to purpose. This is how or light afflictions which is but for a moment, work for us an exceeding weight of eternal glory.

Challenges changed their playing field and it shall for me and for you. If you love God. There are more with you than are against you. So be still and know that the Lord, He is God if you are facing challenges that seem intractable, insurmountable and overwhelming.

The Lord says: 4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;

     They will still be praising You. Selah

5      Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,

     Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

6      As they pass through the Valley of Baca,

     They make it a spring;

     The rain also covers it with pools.

7      They go from strength to strength;

     Each one appears before God in Zion.

10     Fear not, for I am with you;

       Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

       I will strengthen you,

       Yes, I will help you,

       I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’Isa41:10

” Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

       I have called you by your name;

       You are Mine.

2        When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

       And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

       When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

       Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Isa43:1-2

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