Victory in Challenges
By Janice Lewis
April 13, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
After initially reading the above passages; I have to admit, they were real head-scratchers for me. Joshua 7 & 8 outlined detailed battles, Luke 16: 1-18 is the parable of The Shrewd Manager, Psalm 82:1-8 is the strong rebuke to those in worldly authority over us, and Proverbs 13: 2-3 is a correction regarding the words of our mouths. Finding war stories gruesome, business strategies confusing, politics frustrating and rebuke just plain unnerving, I felt uninspired for several days. Gratefully, there are commentaries that illuminated my understanding; and better still, there is the Holy Spirit, who helped me apply the scriptures to my life today and journey as a believer in Christ. I went from head-scratching to toe rubbing!
Before my encounter with the Lord Jesus, I was in a daily battle with sin. The saddest part is that I didn’t even know I was! The sin of pride was masked by my self-sufficiency, lust was approved by my culture, fear and anxiety bred in me from childhood, anger and lovelessness blamed on others. When I finally hit my bottom, and turned to face the Lord through His Word, I began a life of victory and blessing. ’This kind of victory only comes after a death. We need to die to such besetting sins, know that those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.’(Galatians 5:24) Interestingly, it was God’s Words of rebuke and correction in Chronicles that first convicted me; but graciously, His forgiving Words in the book of John, that brought me to repentance and a new life with Jesus.
As I have been navigating these recent weeks, I have been challenged in so many different ways: physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have also experienced victory and blessings in so many ways. In Luke’s passage, I’m encouraged to 'use my resources to do as much good as I can for the glory of God and eternal good of others, to be a shrewd investor by investing in people’s lives.’ Verse 9 from The Message says, ‘I (God) want you to be smart in the same way (as the shrewd manager), but for what is right- using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just getting by on good behavior .” Having many opportunities these days to share life with friends and family through the phone, texts, zoom, etc., I am blessed to be able to share the Good News of Christ: sometimes in bold ways, sometimes in smaller ways. But I hope to always point them to the just celebrated cross of Easter.
Life will always be faced with challenges, but praise be to God, I do not need to face them alone. As we are sheltering in place, I can remember that the Lord goes before me and is in me. I have hope for today because I have a future with Him! ‘Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.’ (1John 4:4)
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.”
— Joshua 8:1a