When I entered my sophomore year of bible college, I faced a big challenge.
If I wanted to continue my college education, I would have to pay my way through an entire year of college, something I had never done before. Up until that point, my parents had paid for everything (including my freshman year of college), but this was the 2008/2009-era, and my dad had just lost his job.
So, if I wanted to continue studying at the Moody Bible Institute, I would have to figure out a way to pay the college bills myself.
I still remember getting the phone call from my parents, telling me of this new reality. I was walking in the college library when my phone rang, and was told of the unfortunate news. When I heard the news, my heart was gripped with fear and uncertainty.
I knew I would had two choices: Either give into the paralyzing fear the challenge before me was taunting me with, or seek God, ask for His help, and start working/thinking through possibilities of how to make this work.
I chose the second option, and in time I began to see God provide and intervene in real, practical ways.
I didn’t get one job, I got three jobs – all of which didn’t interfere with one another, and fit completely into my college class schedule.
God provided work for me to make income.
I got approved by the college to commute from my home in the Suburbs, something which many students don’t get approved to do. This lowered my costs by 73%. (Commuting also ended up being one of the most transformative time period of my life – more on this in another post.)
God provided a way for me to lower my college costs.
One semester, I was short about $2,000, and the money was due in two weeks. I didn’t know how I was going to pay the remainder off, so I began seeking God and thinking through different ways I could come up with the money.
One Wednesday morning, when I was co-teaching a bible study at a church, a lady heard me teach and felt compelled to write me a check for $2,000.
God provided money at the final hour when I needed it most.
Fear paralyzes us,
Faith sees breakthrough
When we face challenges in life, they can either paralyze us with fear, or cause us to seek God and see Him work in our lives.
King David was arguably one of the greatest men of God to ever walk this earth. What we can easily forget is how many challenges King David faced before becoming King, and during his reign as king.
- Saul, the king prior to David, envied David, and tried to kill him numerous times (1 Samuel 19:10-11).
- David faced war with other countries over and over again, such as with the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:15).
- His own son Abasolom tried to overthrow him, and become king in his place. This son was eventually killed by another soldier. (2 Samuel 13-18).
- Some of his own people, the Israelites, did not want David to be king, so they tried to overthrow him. (2 Samuel 2:20).
King David faced all of these life-threatening challenges and more. So what gave him the courage and strength to endure, not give up, and to overcome these challenges?
One thing King David did over and over again when challenges arose, was seek God in prayer. Whenever a challenge arose, David would ask God what he should do – and when God gave him an answer, he listened and followed what the Lord said to do.
“And David inquired of the Lord…”
– 2 Samuel 5:19 ESV
When David sought the Lord and listened to him (by acting on what God said to do), he had victory and success, and saw provision and breakthrough.
Following Jesus doesn’t mean our lives will be free from challenges and problems. It means that we have the Lord Almighty with us in our challenges, whom we can lean on, trust, ask for help, and who will provide for us and comfort us during it all.
When we face challenges in our lives, we have the same opportunity presented to us that King David had. We can either let the challenges paralyze us with fear and dread, or we can seek God, lean into him for dependence, ask for his help and wisdom, and work towards an outcome. If we choose the latter, it will lead to personal growth and seeing the Lord work in our lives.
May your challenges not overwhelm you, but may you see them as an opportunity to see God work in your life. No matter what the provision or breakthrough looks like – this side of eternity – you will grow closer to Him through it all.
“And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him.”
– 1 Samuel 18:14 ESV