Day 2
lent-challenge-day-2 Vince Miller

The Present Challenge

Scripture

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

Devotional

Notice the first three words here, "From that time." This is a noticeable shift. But this does not infer that Jesus 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 are going to be some things that will happen that they were not expecting. And clearly, Peter does not like this. Like a contentious child, Peter protests. While I bet he thought his words were justified, he is not prepared for the verbal reprimand he's about to get.

One of the challenges we encounter as a follower is learning to trust even when we can't grasp the full picture. While we want to know it all, many times this is not possible. As a result, we protest. We protest because we don't like the challenge that the confusion presents. Our mind cannot conceive the future only the consequences of the present — therefore, we protest. But what we fail to realize is that this challenge expands our faith.

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

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.

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

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

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384 thoughts on “The Present Challenge

  1. John Koch says:

    My wife and I have been trying to have kids for years. No idea what God is doing but I pray that he would show us a path forward and turn our pain into praise.

    0
  2. Todd Hansen says:

    “He must increase; I must decrease.” Praying for more and more refining; for deeper love for Jesus; for an actual desire to suffer for his name’s sake.

    2
  3. Todd Hansen says:

    “He must increase; I must decrease.” Praying for more and more refining; for deeper love for Jesus; for an actual desire to suffer for his name’s sake. He’s working on me — but he’s not done. Lots of selfishness to overcome.

    0
  4. Nathanael says:

    How many times have I been at a path of decision and God points at the hard unknown way. Just like Peter I point out to God why that path is not right.

    As I ponder what my correct responses should be, I look to what Peter said and what would be the correct response to Jesus’s directive. It wouldn’t be sure let’s do this thing. But more along the Poverb 3:5. Lord I don’t understand but I know who you are show me the way.

    0
  5. Charles says:

    The challenges I see are not as great as his opportunities for me. Praise be to God for the parents I had and how he is there with us in times of crisis.

    0
  6. Samuel says:

    I am so week, God please give strength to accept and rise to the challenges you have graciously provided for me, thank you for being in my life

    1
  7. Jared Hood says:

    Lord-I need to trust you in work that you have a plan for me above all and not to try to please man.

    Lord-I need to trust your mission for my family and give me wisdom in how to raise my kids and I pray they will have a heart for you.

    0
  8. Ben says:

    I’ve been single for a long time and I’m now 40. I have been praying that God would send me a Godly, Christian, wife who I can serve with and support, and start a family.

    2
  9. David says:

    For about three months I haven’t touched alcohol or marijuana. But in the past week or so, I fell short and have used both. I know this is wrong. I believe and pray that God will give me the strength to avoid these substances from here on out. I’ve also been praying that God will reveal to me daily what I should do, how I can best serve him, and what my purpose is.

    6
  10. Joe says:

    I do need to trust God more in my present challenges and less on me and how I am going to fix or solve them.

    0
  11. Chris says:

    The challenge that I have is to not question what is going on currently with schools being closed meaning a sudden two week vacation and just trust that God has this situation. Not to question why everyone is acting the way they are.

    0
  12. Chee Khiam Tay says:

    Trying to round up a few men to pray on a starting a man ministry , few takers. God help me to trust in your leading that you will bring people and less on my own planning.

    2
  13. Michael says:

    When you wrote this, you probably didn’t realize how appropriate these word we going to be with corona virus and financial going on. We need to seek the comfort of God’s words and rely on the memories of His faithfulness.

    0
  14. Buck says:

    I pray that I won’t get hung up at the foot of the Cross but to keep my eyes focused on Christ. He has defeated all sin and says we are the sparkle in his eye. So thankful we are his Favorites.

    0
  15. Ben says:

    My brother is finally saying yes to Jesus and wants to be baptized. We started a class last week at my church to discover all that means. The class is canceled today, so praying for God’s wisdom in sharing with him. Believing the work God started, God will finish. Amen

    0
  16. Chad says:

    Trust His mission through the chaos and disruption that we are experiencing. He is faithful and just and always in control.

    1
  17. Chris Koelzer says:

    To live as HIS man of integrity and action, creating uncommon value for his glory—as a husband, dad, and worker in his fields.

    1
  18. Eric Jensen says:

    I am facing the fear of the unknown, and the changes in our society with the coronavirus closing so much. It feels like panic and fear is all around us, yet we don’t know what is ahead. But God is our strong fortress. We need to run to Him!

    1
  19. rgoreckijr says:

    My current challenge is the decision to retire at the end of April. May God provide clarity on His will for this transition and help to those who need to trust Him more, especially during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. (OK, I know that is not 1-5 words as Vince instructed but describes what is on my heart this morning)

    1
  20. Jason says:

    I live with my in-laws, I have no job, I am struggling with passing a major test so I can get a job. My marriage is struggling, I’m dealing with PTSD from 3 deployment. To name just a few things.

    0
    • Tom Cullen says:

      Jason thanks for sharing that! I will pray for you I know what it’s like to stare up at the ceiling no job no income. I cannot understand your ptsd I would be willing to hang with you. Have coffee even at McDonald’s !

      1
      • Jason says:

        Tom, that would be great. I’m open almost always. I have no job. Lol
        I love to fellowship!
        651-295-2081
        Txt message is easier to get ahold of me.

        0
    • Brian Carlson says:

      Please continue to pray for my health . It is scary this outbreak. Wisdom to choose how much l can do.

      1
    • Rick Pals says:

      We lost our son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren in an accident in 2016. We were always tempted to ask why. Then we started asking what now?

      I will be praying for you and your family.

      4
  21. Addison Waite says:

    Completed. God I trust you with the craziness of the world around me. I walk in peace knowing that you are in control.

    0
  22. Ed Beam says:

    Praying that God’s mission, plan for me becomes clearer and more defined. We are all here for a reason help us realize what that is today.

    1
  23. Bryce says:

    Unprecedented times require faith & patience. Let my faith & God’s love shine through me during this chaos and uncertainty.

    2
  24. Nick says:

    I’m challenged by figuring out how God wants to use me at my church what my role is to play. I also want to be a better man – husband, son, friend, and person.

    0
  25. Gary says:

    Jesus, how do I deal with Covid-19 with regard to travel? I am on vacation in Florida right now. What does social distancing look like for me?

    0
  26. Dave Benson says:

    “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” vs 23
    Because of the lack of prayer I find myself leaving God out of the picture quite often. I desire to totally commit to Him!

    0
  27. Kenneth McClatchey says:

    Lord help me to be secure in your leadership. What you have for me today is enough and I trust my future is secure in You.

    0
  28. David Luevano says:

    My challenge is my flesh versus the Holy Spirit. I pray for forgiveness and Jesus’s strength in fighting the temptations. I need to heed Jesus’s word.

    0
  29. Charles says:

    It is hard to wait for God’s help with problems. It has always been hard in certain areas of my life, I continue in my faith that God is still in control. I just have to seek His will and let Him guide.

    0
  30. David says:

    Daughters truthfulness, lifestyle, decisions, responsibilities. My role in praying, loving, and encouraging her.

    0
  31. Jeremy Whins says:

    My friend was recently murdered. It’s hard not to question the actions of the Lord and hard not to feel anger towards the people who did this.

    0
  32. MATTHEW says:

    Praying that others will have their anxiety over the Coranvirus relieved and realize that God is still in control!!

    0
  33. David says:

    I having trouble seeing through the medical and financial challenges. I praying for clarity of how God wants to use me through these challenges.

    0
    • Jay says:

      I’ve prayed this same prayer for years… I see no mission but to keep the faith, stay humble, and wait on the Lord.

      0
  34. Warren M Campbell Sr says:

    Jesus was completely All In to his mission which tells me we have to be completely all in to ours . Not to try and figure things out with these limited minds but to follow the leading of Holy Spirit.

    0
  35. Coach says:

    My struggles of over spiraling negative thinking which cause fears and anxiety. I must trust in and believe … Jeremiah 29:11

    0
  36. Paul Tomes says:

    My challenge currently is understanding what God’s plan is for the sale of my property that is being contested in the court system by two neighbors.

    0
  37. Jay says:

    I’ve learned not to ask “Why”, it only distracts from increasing my faith for He rarely tells. I have learned, however, that He is always faithful and worthy of my trust. Tho He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15)

    1
  38. Fuji Fou Vang says:

    Satan is trying to tempt me to deter from my faith by using my mom who left us 3 years ago to feed the evil spirits around us.

    0
  39. Duane McPheeters says:

    Frustration with having to address my step-sons Church Elder board on personal/ Spiritual handling of his Marriage separation. Working 60-70 hours a week. (Busy). Leading 2 weekly men’s small groups. Preparing a message for Church Body this Sunday. Challenging days

    0
  40. Duc says:

    Struggle to fully trust the Lord to let Him in the driver seat. Also being a good and effective father in this day and age is difficult and challenging.

    0
    • Anthony Meschke says:

      I’m praying for all of us to be better father’s. I’ve been trying to do the “Dangerous book for boys” and the “daring book for girls” once a week with the kids. They look forward to it. Some of the stuff is a little over their heads but a good place to start. I’ve been meaning to look into “raising a modern day Knight” also

      0
  41. Michael Pechar says:

    The path in front of me keeps taking random turns for the most random reasons. It can be frustrating.

    0
  42. UJ says:

    My current frustration is how to balance work, family, life in a way that honors God and feels fulfilling to me.

    0
  43. Lewis Thompson says:

    My challenge today is to release the anxiety of “keeping Mary from contacting the CoronaVirous”

    0
  44. Raphael says:

    Javon
    Ownership, obedience, fear sharing what I feel.
    Ralph
    Setting a godly loving environment to my wife and kids. Also trust the Lord with my finances.

    0
  45. Jordan Johnson says:

    Currently I teach 5th-6th grade, but feel God is leading into Men’s ministry which is out of my comfort zone.

    0
  46. Danny Leo says:

    I’m very relational and love being around and meeting new people. I pray that the ‘pause’ we are in as a society due to Covid-19, will have the desired health outcome and that God’s plan will be fulfilled and known through this pivotal circumstance. Also, I pray for my family and friends!

    0
  47. Steve Brown says:

    I’ve sought after the Lord about changing locations/jobs so that we can get out of debt (these are the only things holding us back from being debt-free). He has shown me that the pursuit of getting out of debt has become an idol, and that I need to seek Him here and now in the midst of this suffering as a slave to debt. I feel like Philemon being told by Paul to go back and be a slave. I know God will see me through this, but the waiting is hard.

    0
  48. JP says:

    That my heart stands unshakable and focused on God so that I may stand as a light for Him in the current storm and beyond.

    0
  49. Doug says:

    I pray that God will show me how he wants me to minister to others during this time of fear and uncertainty. That will involve surrendering my own fear!

    0
  50. Jon Brady says:

    Praying for opportunities to reconnect with my 21 year old daughter. Praying for wellness and strength for all the health care providers.

    0
  51. Zach Leaman says:

    My current challenge is the balancing of COVID-19 craziness in society, a toddler, and a soon-to-be newborn – while maintaining a healthy marriage. Praying for wisdom and guidance from God!

    0
  52. Tom Cullen says:

    It’s hard for me when he ask me or tells me that I have to suffer! So I try to stay in the present moment, hoping of course it will be short time that I have to suffer. I don’t like it. But I have come to the conclusion we all suffer in some way’s.

    1
    • Eric says:

      We all struggle with that! Search for that good angel within you. He will brighten many lives when let loose!

      0
    • Robert Queen says:

      That is your house you take authority over Satan! Speak to that demon of rebellion and command it to get out of your jurisdiction.
      God bless brother!

      0
    • Stephen Rovezzi says:

      I am in. It is tough for me to physically participate because of distance and transportation. But these challenges… your daily emails…. I look for them and integrate them as best I can each day. Thank you Jay.

      0
    • Jason says:

      Greg, God does know your health issues He also created you in His image so He knows what’s going on even if the doc’s don’t. I’ll be praying for you.

      0
  53. 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.

    0
    • 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.

      1
  54. Chris says:

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

    0
  55. 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.

    0
  56. 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.

    0
  57. Don Wilson says:

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

    1
  58. scott kelly says:

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

    0
  59. 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.

    0
  60. scott kelly says:

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

    0
  61. Chris Keeper says:

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

    0
  62. 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.

    0
  63. Edgar Tolentino says:

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

    1
  64. 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.

    0
  65. Lucas says:

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

    0
  66. 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.

    0
  67. 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.

    0
  68. 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!

    0
  69. 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.

    0
  70. 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.

    0
  71. 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.

    0
  72. 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.

    0
  73. 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.

    0
  74. 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.

    0
  75. 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.

    0
  76. Shane Young says:

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

    0
  77. 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.

    0
  78. 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?

    0
  79. 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.

    0
  80. Robert Queen says:

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

    0
  81. 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.

    0
  82. 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.

    0
  83. Mark says:

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

    1
  84. 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.

    Billy

    0
  85. Randy says:

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

    1
  86. 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

    0
  87. Joshua Standfest says:

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

    0
  88. 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.

    0
  89. 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.

    0
  90. Denny says:

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

    0
  91. 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.

    0
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