[I did this] to test Israel and to see whether they would keep the LORD’s way by walking in it, as their fathers had. – Judges 2:22
I was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy from June 1975 to December 1976. The first six weeks of my “tour” were spent in basic training and the last three weeks of that six week training were spent in “Jack’s Valley.” Two major exercises were encountered during our time in Jack’s Valley … the bayonet assault course and the obstacle course. The idea behind each course (besides making me look stupid and inadequate) was to teach us “maggots” a little about endurance, overcoming adversity, pushing through difficulty, and in the process how to grow stronger for the fights that might lie ahead.
For the Christ-follower, this life is like an obstacle course. While some “obstacles” have been placed in our way by our own bad decisions, others have been placed and designed by God Himself. We should not be surprised by these challenges. God uses difficulty to teach us to trust Him. He expects us to grow through each trial … to be strengthened … to learn how to fight the good fight and to win the victory.
Do you face a difficult challenge? Don’t quit! Perhaps it is preparation for greater things to come.
A lot of people give up just before they’re about to make it. You know, you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one. – Chuck Norris
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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