Day 2

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."—Matthew 16:21-23

Notice the first three words here, "From that time." This is a noticeable shift. But this does not infer that Jesus's previously casual interchanges were not purposeful. We should only conclude that Jesus is now letting his guys know much more about his intended mission and that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer.

With this came the need to explain to the disciples that there will be some things that will happen that they were not expecting. And clearly, Peter doesn't like this idea. Like a contentious child, Peter protests. While I bet Peter thought his words were justified, he is not prepared for the reprimand he's about to get.

One of the challenges we encounter as a follower is learning to trust even when we can't understand the full picture. While we want to know everything, many times, this is not possible. As a result, we protest. We protest because we don't like the present limits. Our mind can only conceive the consequences of the present—therefore, we protest. But what we fail to realize is that these limits of our understanding expand our faith.

Today, instead of protesting your present challenge, pray that you will fully accept God's present mission and with it the limits. For when you trust the mission of God, regardless of the problem it presents, you end up spending less time protesting and more time trusting the God who knows all things.

DO THIS: Your Call To Act (C.T.A.) today is:

This week we are focusing on the discipline of prayer. Each of the Calls To Action below will involve the activity of prayer. Prayer is merely having a short conversation with God. One of the best ways to do this is by talking out loud with Him, so it might be best to find a quiet place to do this for the next few minutes.

  • Share: in the comment section below, the challenge you are currently facing so I can pray for you.
  • Pray: for 5-minutes today, sharing with God your frustration and ask him to reveal his mission.

Share That You Completed Today's Challenge

lent-challenge-day-2 Vince Miller

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662 thoughts on “The Present Challenge

  1. Richard Kellam says:

    My challenge is to use my time more wisely and not get caught up doing things that will not make a difference. I am retired and have sufficient money, but my life lacks structure.

  2. Bryan Short says:

    Hello, and I really appreciate your devotions! My prayer Request is health related , I have been challenged with Meniere’s disease, tinnitus and high blood pressure and would appreciate prayers for complete healing. thanks much!

  3. Hernan says:

    I’m having trouble losing weight. I need to lose weight for my health. However, I have a bad back that makes it challenging. It is very difficult now that I am older.

  4. Mark Gabert says:

    My challenge is being faithful to ask the Lord and to work on being wise in the trying times we face in our world today.

  5. Eric Barnes says:

    Making God honoring glorifying decisions in leadership, and trying to really help others spiritually without hurting my own family. I need God to lead me to the best decisions for His greatest good.

  6. Tim Belanger says:

    Trying to determine where my wife and I fit in the new church we are attending. Or, if we need to continue seeking a different church home.

  7. Ben Moody says:

    Frustration regarding the selfishness of others, lack of care and concern for hurting peple and not seeing an end to the madness. It’s like people are wearing blinders.

  8. Ed says:

    I am frustrated that, like Peter, I let earthly things guide my thoughts & actions. And I’m not disciplined to study God’s Word daily so I will be able to lead my family, lead at work & lead in our men’s Bible Study through the spirit. I guess I feel like that sluggard in Proverbs.

  9. Justin says:

    My current challenge is how to hang onto hope that a severely damaged family relationship can be reconciled.

  10. Gary Preston Barthelow says:

    I’m having trouble getting my disability and I’m falling behind on bills i really need God to entervene and make a way.

  11. Tony says:

    My daughter- please pray for her as she is really struggling currently w her self worth- she’s a senior in high school and has recently gotten into some legal trouble now. Pray God will give me discernment and wisdom to help her know she is loved!

  12. Paul Tommerdahl says:

    Leading others who have lacked leadership – that they would be responsive to needed changes.

  13. Jesse Winger says:

    Where will we live. What will we do?
    This is my challenge. I do not know what the future holds and it is nerve wracking.

  14. Eelco says:

    Struggling with patience, that I want everything at the same time. Like financial security, job security, and a girlfriend.

  15. Robert Morgan says:

    My daughters friend Tammy is just starting her Cancer battle. Iam praying for her a victory in her battle

    • Eric says:

      I understand you. My family and I used to foster children. Our challenge with fostering was that I am a corrections officer, and majority of the children we cared for belonged to my inmates.

  16. Doug says:

    My parents didnt take my brother and I. Years later at age 65 and 70 my parents had problems and a cousin introduced them to the church. They have been my example as I have aged. My 70 year old cousin is put to rest today at 3pm. His wife said it was his greatest wish that everyone have a relationship with Him, and he espevially wanted that for me. Thus I have reached out via these devotionals per her suggestion. Lead your life in Christ and your children will notice someday. My parents were bolstered in their old age by the church and I want that same love and support. Just because you are estranged doesnt mean they aren’t watching.

  17. James J Echelberger says:

    Prayer for healing in my marriage and for being a good example of my faith. For showing how God lives in me that I can be an example to my family that they would want what I have been given by Christ Jesus. For being a good leader of my family. That they would want to have Jesus in their lives.

  18. John says:

    My work is very stressful and demanding. My challenge is to leave that behind me and don’t bring my stress and frustrations home.

  19. Jon Brady says:

    I’m struggling at home with patience and understanding. My oldest stepdaughter (33) is going through a divorce and has been living with us since the end of July. Since she has two young daughters 1 and 6, my wife and I have been helping them out. I just feel at times we are being taken for granted while my stepdaughter continue to pay the mortgage and bills at their home where her husband is currently staying. I’m very frustrated.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

  20. Jim Kroyer says:

    My greatest challenge is continued isolation due to Covid. Long story why this is happening and the impact.

  21. Joel Walls says:

    Prayer for healing in my marriage and a strong focus on God 1st in all things. Prayer for being successful in my new career and remaining humble, also prayer for wisdom when it comes to safety issues. (No room for mistakes)

  22. Massimo says:

    Obedience by loving others well. Especially those who I find difficult to love. Praying for those who don’t love me.

  23. Brian says:

    I have not been the husband and father that God has called me to be. I have lied, been unfaithful, failed to lead,…my wife is working hard to forgive. I am working on repenting and turn to be the man God has called me to be. I am working on trusting God that his will be done and working to restore the lives of my hurt family.

    • David G says:

      Hi Brian: Praying for you bro, I’m also on the path of healing in my own life and my marriage, God is faithful and will do a work of perfecting in the lives of those who humble themselves before Him, If your interested check out app. for men and marriage recovery from Dr.Doug Weiss called “the Game Plan” been a real blessing in my life , Regards David G

  24. Dennis says:

    What frustrates me is that sometimes my mind will drift while praying. I want to be connected to Jesus and abide in Him. I want to trust God and walk in the Spirit.

  25. Scott Lokey says:

    Putting off my old self and being a new creation in Christ.
    Being a better husband.
    Leading my employees at work. Sharing my faith with friends.

  26. Mike says:

    After a forced retirement, trying to figure out what my new purpose is. How to best provide for my family, do I find another job or do I devote myself into something else, missions, ministry?

  27. Chris says:

    I am facing a broken marriage, children climbing the walls because of quarantining from the virus, not working because of the virus and the shame of letting my body get out of shape.

  28. Ed says:

    I pray that as I return from a much needed vacation, that I can make good on being a better husband, father, and employee… this past year and it’s political, social and spiritual challenges has turned me from skeptical to cynical and angry inside and I’ve allowed my frustrations to affect my quiet time reading and praying which predictably has not been good. More of HE and less of me…. that’s what the people in my life need to see….

  29. Doug says:

    Multiple things plaque a man of 73 years, but I have blessings as well. My children did not stand on my shoulders, and while a disappointment to me, they short themsrlves of the enjoyment of a fruitful and productive life here on Earth. I failed to lead them to the Church, tho my wife and I set good earthly examples, and for that I fear their time here on Earth wont be as fruitful and easy as if they had God to rely on. I also fear I put at risk their time in Heaven. As I age, tjings become clear ans I must take this time to get closer to God in a visible, leadership way.

    • Ken Johnson says:

      I can relate Doug, I am also 73 years young, have to adult step-children and I regret I wasn’t a good example of being a follower of Jesus. They are now estranged from my wife and I.

  30. Bob Smotherman says:

    Our church is about to come to making a decision as to whether leave the denomination because of a progressive agenda that is being pushed . Need guidance as to how to address this in a way that not only shows that we want to follow God’s leading in these challenging times.

  31. Steve George says:

    Social media is not for me. I am under the conviction my interactions should be on a personal basis. Thats just for me, not a judgement call. I believe Jesus by his Spirit wants to show up through us, his living apisles, that his Word is not some storybook.

    • Doug says:

      Multiple things plaque a man of 73 years, but I have blessings as well. My children did not stand on my shoulders, and while a disappointment to me, they short themsrlves of the enjoyment of a fruitful and productive life here on Earth. I failed to lead them to the Church, tho my wife and I set good earthly examples, and for that I fear their time here on Earth wont be as fruitful and easy as if they had God to rely on. I also fear I put at risk their time in Heaven. As I age, tjings become clear ans I must take this time to get closer to God in a visible, leadership way.

  32. Darin Palmer says:

    The struggles my wife is having with her boss at work. I can see the mental toll it’s having on her. I tell her to quit but she feels like she’s a failure if she does.

  33. Andrew McNerlin says:

    Starting a purification program for 21 days tomorrow
    Prayers for strength and discipline and that my body will work with me through this journey

    • Lance says:

      That my son’s college baseball coach will give him the opportunity to earn his way back into the starting line up, he is struggling at the plate. This is so he can showcase his talent and earn a scholarship to finish his college education. This is really taking a toll on my wife’s mental health…she cannot sleep.

  34. Stan Stephenson says:

    I am having a hard time discerning Gods leading, my prayer life feels like a one way street, I talk but I don’t know how to listen.

  35. David Schuknecht says:

    I want my marriage to be better than it is today. I need to give my marriage to Jesus along with my self centered and sinful ways.

  36. Steve George says:

    The Father is revealing to me that he wants a powerful demonstration of the reality of his presence and ability to deliver His people.

    • Collin Boggs says:

      Praying with you brother! This is a stirring I’ve felt as well. Connect with me on Facebook, I’d love to hear what you’ve been feeling/hearing.

  37. William Wayne Friske says:

    My only challenge right now is my ankles and legs hurt so much, it takes a while to get able to walk in the morning, but I trust God and I have faith. God is good.

    • Chris says:

      Do you pray as you fall asleep, and when you are awakened? I do, it helps. Satan’s demons are strong but so are you. I’ll pray for you.

      • Tommy says:

        Absolutely my son and I pray before bed and when we wake up. Also I do apply the blood of Jesus Christ to the situation when I have the dreams Thank you brother for the prayers

    • Bruce says:

      Help with my relationship with my wife and my adult children accepting her. Their mother passed away 13 years ago and. My kids have had difficulty with accepting her (we have been married for 8 years)

  38. Salvatore Augeri says:

    Sharing the Gospel with a loved one who is a non-believer and resists submitting to Jesus and accepting Him as Lord.

    • Collin Boggs says:

      One of the Names of the Almighty is Jehovah Jireh, “The LORD Will Provide”. May He who abundantly pours out to those He calls, Bless your friend’s organization, and honor him for responding to the Lord’s Calling.

    • Dave Benson says:

      That I would be bold in sharing Jesus in our lost and hurting world, especially to those close to me!

  39. Jeff Kuhn says:

    I struggle with my youngest son’s anger towards life in general. More importantly short-tempered and rudeness towards his girlfriend.

  40. Robert Wicks says:

    I pray that God will bring others to Christ because of what is happening now. No matter what I stand with Christ as my protector. Amen

  41. bill mckay says:

    I want to be able to use the gifts that God gave me that I would be a more effective and willing servant for Him

  42. Steven Turner says:

    Getting with a missionary that is in the US and leaving soon to go oversea so I can help him raising funds

  43. Michael Mahony says:

    This year has challenged me on every level…physically, emotionally, spiritually…I feel both spent and often unanchored from my faith.

    • Ed says:

      This is exactly what I’m feeling. You summed it up better than I did! If you have found yourself spending less time in Gods word as well let’s pray for and encourage each other to read and pray daily. If this helps… in the times I get at my lowest and cry out to God he seems to ask me if I really TRUST him… I pray we can all trust and know he is in control in spite of all that is going on around us. Peter was doing just fine walking above the water until he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the rough waters… for me it’s been focusing way too much on what’s wrong with this world (and there’s lots there to be discouraged about) . I pray we both may focus on HIM and be filled with him to the point where he flows through us and can impact those around us for the better.

  44. SHELDON Bullard says:

    Finding a new church home. a place where we that is my wife and i can use our gifts and abilities.

  45. Jos G says:

    Today I woke up and had to say to God, “I am discouraged and disconnected”. I don’t like it and I don’t want it but it’s there. I don’t usually feel that way but lately I have been feeling it.

    • Dan Kjellsen says:

      To knowing God’s will and His guidance concerning transition in relocating to a different state.

      • Chuck Peter says:

        Dan, If you submit your plans to God, He is a way maker. I’ve found that He has ways of making His will known. If you make your plans in alignment with His will, now that’s a good plan. I pray God will make your path clear and that the Holy Spirit would give you wisdom and discernment in the decisions before you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  46. Justin Love says:

    My pride and worry what other people think of me. Talking in front of groups of people and praying out loud in front of people i need to listen when I feel god telling me to talk to people about him and not be nervous. I just need confidence to tell people about god and what he has done in my like

  47. Ken Johnson says:

    Unforgiveness from my adult step children as a result of my anger 3 years ago
    My specific purpose and calling from God
    The direction this country is going – the depravity of our leaders

  48. Haevey Hansen says:

    I need to let pride go and ask for help. ( as a mn I feel I don’t need help to fix a problem thinking I can fix it myself)

  49. Bruce Jardine says:

    I think my main frustration right now is that I am not happy with my job. It is not my calling I am there only to pay the bills. Sometimes that is hard because right now at times I barely getting enough hours. I know that called has called me and wide to start a youth conference ministry called Cry of Jeremiah but when or how is the biggest question especially is when and how?

    • Richard says:

      Believe that God is your he is your healer. Jeevan Rope, The Lord is my health.Exodus 3:14 God’s Word is your medicine. Psalm 103:1-3,Jeretmia 30:17,Isaiah 30:26, Matthew 4:23,John 4:13-14, Revelation 22:17

  50. Damien Wetzel says:

    My challenges: my oldest daughter has test anxiety in her freshman year as an engineer, my youngest daughter badly sprang her ankle in HS gymnastics that need healing, my close friend who is not a Christian but came to me for advice needs Gods strength to make the next right decision, my wife is under extreme stress at work at a hospital the last year, And I want to help all of them be in a better place.

    • Michael Mahony says:


      Understand, I too had cancer and walked with Jesus thru the surgery and eventual cure. I will be praying for you.

  51. Tom Wise says:

    My struggle is to know that it is all in god’s hands and not to be worried or stressed about the outcome

  52. Chad Norris says:

    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

    Prayer and gratitude are ways to demonstrate that we trust God.
    ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  53. russreborn says:

    April 5 2020 | Playing catch up here.
    Share: in the comment section below, the challenge you are currently facing:
    Struggling with a hardship brought about by my own sin, the ramifications of which have the potential to render a “Job-style catastrophic event” I have to believe that Romans 8:28 is going to come into play at some point at in some respects it has but the final page of this story is still uncertain and my sanity has nothing left. It is now that I must believe that when all you have left is God, then God is all you really need. Mercy prayed for daily.

  54. Troy says:

    My challenges
    The shelter in place has caused me to be separated from Erika which has led to us splitting up. Business is a roller coaster and I haven’t seen my kids in a week.

  55. Denny says:

    Wow! How timely! Praying for all those affected by the corona virus and that God will reveal His Glory through this tragedy.

  56. Benjamin says:

    I am having trouble applying God into my life. It seems so easy yet so hard. To deny the bad habits of life.

  57. Will says:

    With everything cancelled and two new children living in my home, the challenge is to built felt safety and family, for everyone. New family and old.

  58. Joshua Standfest says:

    the challenge that life is slowly getting more and more difficult as I enter my college years

  59. John Wilson says:

    “ One of the challenges we encounter as a follower is learning to trust even when we can’t grasp the full picture “

    So true!

    A couple twists and turns on my vacation, but have seen Gods hand in it.

    And now not meeting for church is going to be something to trust in Gods plan going forward

  60. Randy says:

    My Challenge: To be more sympathetic to those around me, Christian or not. To treat everyone as Jesus did.

  61. William Brama says:

    How relevant is this? Wow, trust the process and do not fight it, what will happen will happen have faith is what I’m hearing, stay healthy boys.


  62. Mark says:

    I’m praying for a reconnection with my wife, as years of resentment and unaddressed pain has dug a trench between us.

  63. Kevin Lane says:

    Praying for God’s supernatural power to help me be patient and let go of my anxiety over the virus and all that is impacting my world.

  64. Rod Hoeft says:

    Lots of changes in the last 6 months. Please Lord help me to understand what and how to go about serving You and Your Kingdom.

  65. Robert Queen says:

    Believing for the resources now to fufill my kingdom assignment and being patient for said manifestation.

  66. Jonathan Robertson says:

    Stressing about not being able to control other people. I want my family to see things the way I do and I get frustrated when they do not.

  67. Josh says:

    Struggling to know what the future holds. What does our family look like in x number of years and why is it so hard to add to it? What does my career look like in x number of years?

    • Chuck Peter says:

      Struggling with what the future holds can be stressful. Imagine in this time, in a world riddled with uncertainty, facing the future without hope. I’m 67. In x number of years, maybe seconds, I hope to spend eternity with Jesus. Since I don’t know exactly what that x equals, I still make plans. I pray that, If God is willing, some of those plans will come to fruition. However, I realize that they are not in my hands and not to be agonized over. I start by being thankful for today, casting my cares at the foot of the cross, getting out of the way and letting God work. There is a lot of freedom there.

      Dear Lord, I pray today that Josh, and I, will find joy, peace and contentment in the hope that we have in you. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen

  68. Dave says:

    Comprehending the depth of His love and trusting in Him for EVERYTHING. Living FULLY surrendered. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I’m certainly not there yet.

  69. Shane Young says:

    I am struggling with the dark side of human nature shown in the midst of our selfish behavior during the caronovirus.

  70. David Clarke says:

    Dave S C = I am challenged with the large array of activities, and needs to address, and where to begin first. it is comforting to konw that God has the answers to this.

  71. Brad Hatfield says:

    4 major challenges I’m facing
    1) poor physical health due to spinal injury
    2) having to find a new form of job for income after 2 years on long term disability
    3) the decision of my former fiance to abandon life together and also the loss of her 3 children.
    4) complete loss and sense of self and direction in life.

  72. Rick says:

    I am being challenged in my relationship with my older brother. There are issue i feel I should address with him but have concerns about the consequences.

  73. Michael says:

    Concerns with my youngest child’s direction and path in life. He is alone and broken. He knows Jesus but is not a follower. Praying that he grasps the Love and Grace of Christ.

  74. Hugh Prichard says:

    My current challenge leaves me with some anxiety, stress, and uncertainty. I see my own truck inconsistency and desire better discipline and self control. I want to trust God fully with it but still don’t feel like I’m there yet.

  75. Jeff says:

    I find myself troubled about my work. For some reason I have allowed the thought that my position is tentative and that I will lose my job as a result of not being good enough.

  76. Conrad says:

    To discipline one’s self in prayer is a huge challenge itself. Let us not grow weary in doing so because this pleases God.

  77. Brady Ellis says:

    The challenge I’m facing today is captivity and “self quarantine.” Feeling slightly depressed from being alone, worried about how all this is going to pan out and wondering how far it will go and how long before we have a handle on this mess. I trust the Lord fully and believe in His mercy, but still fight the urges to try and take control and “manage” life on my own instead of dropping to my knees and praying until I relax and know He is our God and Protector, our Provider and this too shall pass!

  78. Tim says:

    I would like to retire at age 67 and find another less stressful job. My children say mathematically I can’t leave my job and make less money and that I am too old to find another job with equal pay, but less friction with management. I have been at this same job for almost 27 years with only two or three pay raises & more & more tension.

  79. LAVON LAMBERTY says:

    I am challenged by my responsibility as a Gideon on how to effectively communicate with Pastors so that they will be willing to schedule a Gideon Report in their worship services. Especially, now that so many things are uncertain about group meetings.

  80. Lucas says:

    Currently struggling with some family issues that have been unsolved for a years. I pray for gods discernment for my life.

  81. Ted says:

    When things change a lot for me after June, I will need my Lord much more. I know He will help me make the decisions I need to.

  82. Edgar Tolentino says:

    The present challenge I have is the ability to listen and understand before saying something.

  83. Brian says:

    Having just had a baby a few weeks ago, my challenge is in dedicating my time to these personal moments with God in the midst of all of my kids’ and my wife’s needs.

  84. Chris Keeper says:

    Anticipation and some worry, anticipation =Fight Club about to get underway
    Worry= what to really expect from this Virus

  85. scott kelly says:

    Yes, I think sometimes I talk too much while praying. Maybe listening for God’s guidance will help.

  86. Webb Mandeville says:

    This an opportunity to trust Jesus. Talk about confusing and frustrating times. I need to learn to be thankful that the sailing is not smooth. Sorry I’m late today. Just got home.

  87. scott kelly says:

    balancing all of my personal problems and work problems causing confusion and feeling like I’m failing at both.

  88. Don Wilson says:

    I am encouraged that those who walked with Jesus, also had trouble understanding the whole picture…

  89. Matt R. says:

    In both my career and my personal life, I have frequently struggled with the thought that I am not doing enough for God’s Kingdom, and that I could be more effective.

  90. Seth Metcalf says:

    My wife and I have been praying for the last few weeks now for God to reveal a serving opportunity for us to do together. We’ve discussed doing becoming a family Big, for Big
    Brothers Big Sisters, but also want to serve at our church as well. Praying that God will reveal his plan for us.

  91. Chris says:

    I am encountering the virus and closed schools, loss income and kids driving me crazy already and we’ve just begun!

    • Shane Young says:

      I will pray for you Eelco. I have seen what it has done to my son but his and our family’s faith has seen him through this and he now helps his friends slay this sin.

  92. Dean Wendler says:

    Challenge today is to pray for our nation and our leadership. My challenge is to remember the God is in total control.