Challenge_2Let’s continue today with some more thoughts about how to face challegnes coming your way …

3. Don’t go it alone.

Please don’t face your mountains alone. Yes, many times they are burdens are issues that you alone fully understand and have to deal with. But gather a few climbing companions. It’s amazing how our resilience and our endurance increase when we have others with us on the journey. Build a close network of friends and climbing partners (‘safe’ and trustworthy people).

4. Draw on God’s grace.

Notice I said, “Draw on” not “Ask for”. Why? Because God always makes his grace available for us when facing challenges. In fact, he always sends ‘more than enough’ for what we are going through. Sometimes in the moment we may not ‘feel’ it, but when looking back, you’ll see it – amazing sustaining grace. Grace – it’s not just about salvation; it’s about life. Grace is his goodness but also his ability and his strength to cope (2 Cor.12:7-10). Challenges do many things but one thing is for sure – they make you dependent. You are acutely aware of your desperate need for God. You pray more and you trust and rely far less in your self (not a bad place to be).

5. Choose to be optimistic about the future

Expect things to work out well and in the mean time embrace a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty (Jer.29:11. 2 Cor.4:15-18). If we are not careful, challenges have a way of subtly draining away our sense of ‘hope’. It’s like the pressures of realities of today blind us from any respite tomorrow. We can slowly begin to believe that things will never change or that the challenges may never go away. Let’s be real clear – just choosing to be optimistic doesn’t guarantee that the challenges will go away but we can believe that even if they don’t God’s grace will carry us through.

I pray for God’s strength and wisdom as you take on whatever challenges you may be facing today.

2 thoughts on “The Challenges of Ministry (Part 3)

  1. Thanks for the encouragement Mark. I have really enjoyed your ‘Challenges’ mini series. I particularly needed the reminder about having optimistic expectations… Thank you.

  2. These are great principles Mark, particularly the point about ‘not doing it alone’. I have been so blessed through my life with some wonderful travelling companions [husband, girlfriends etc]. We have shared our highs and lows and the bumps in between and, without them cheering me on, the journey would have been almost impossible at times. I think it’s no surprise that Jesus chose to do those 3 intense years of ministry within the supporting framework of a group of friends. Thanks for your blog…it’s a great encouragement.

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