Challenges In Life Devotionals

Challenges in life- Devotional 1

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:18-21)(KJV)

Joseph was a just man and when he found that Mary who was betrothed to him was pregnant, he decided not to publicly condemn her, but divorce her quietly. Mary's punishment for adultery would have been stoning to death according to the Law, but Joseph was merciful and did not make a hue and cry. But while he thought on these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to fear taking Mary as wife, for that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit and a promise was given to him that Mary would deliver a son and he was to call his name Jesus, for he would save God's people from their sins.

This was a real challenge in Joseph's life because what he had heard from the angel was unheard of.....that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit . Could he rely on a dream that he had seen? Many a conflicting thought would have passed through his mind,yet we see him responding to the challenge in a worthy manner....

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:24, 25)(KJV)

Joseph obeyed God, despite the fact that he did not fully understand things that were happening in the life of Mary and in his married life. He was patient and waited for God's promise to be fulfilled, before he had bodily relations with her. Joseph faced many challenges even after the birth of Jesus, yet he remained faithful to God.

God calls us also to be just, merciful, obedient and faithful as Joseph was. He helps us in the challenges we face in life. Praise be to his holy name.
Challenges in life- Devotional 2

Immediately after Jesus fed the 5000+ people miraculously, he made his disciples get into a boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and he went up on a mountain by himself to pray. The boat was in the middle of the sea after they rowed about three or four miles and was being tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Jesus was alone on the land and he saw them straining at rowing. In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea and would have passed them by. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.”He said, “Come.” When Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus, but when he saw that the wind was contrary, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” When Jesus got into the boat, the wind ceased. All who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” John writes....immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

Here was a challenge in the lives of Jesus' disciples. They were together, they were in a crisis; perhaps they had called out to their Master, but had seen no immediate answer. Some of them were fishermen, not strangers to unpredictable weather while rowing, yet they could not salvage a deliverance with all their might. Finally, when deliverance was nearing, they could not decipher it rightly. Yet Jesus was merciful.

Jesus very well knew what was going to happen when he sent his disciples across the sea. He was praying for them throughout the crisis that they were going through. He came to them at an unexpected time (at his time). He wanted to see how they would respond when he came walking on the sea; whether they would be expectantly waiting for him, their Savior to rescue them. Despite having seen innumerable miracles, the disciples were still lacking in faith. Yet Jesus was merciful.

Sometimes, despite all the faith that we can muster, we may not see things going as we want to. Even in these situations we can depend on God's mercy and compassion.

As we read in the book of Lamentations...
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22, 23)
Challenges in life- Devotional 3

A blind and mute demon possessed man was brought to Jesus who healed the man so that he both saw and spoke and the crowds were amazed and asked, "Could this be the Son of David?" When the Pharisees heard it, they were jealous and said, "This fellow casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Jesus plainly told them that they were the ones who used satanic power and not him; his power over demons came from Almighty God. (Finger of God was an expression used by the magicians of Egypt to describe the plague of lice brought upon the Egyptians by God (Moses and Aaron) which they failed to reproduce by their magic and here Jesus uses the same term.)

Jesus explains the working of Satan's kingdom here saying that he couldn't be using satanic power to drive out one of satan's evil ones (as he did in the case of the blind and mute man), because then satan's kingdom wouldn't stand. Satan's kingdom could stand only if there is unity between it's members.

Jesus was often challenged by the Pharisees, the Scribes and the Teachers of the Law, who were jealous of him and wanted to catch him in his words, but Jesus used heavenly wisdom to answer their accusations.

In the work that you do for God, satan may challenge you through people who are wicked, but God will give you heavenly wisdom to answer your detractors if you keep seeking his face continually in prayer.