The Challenge

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Look Ye Saints"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 40:14,23 – "But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison." The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. (NIV)

I had wanted a horse ever since I was a child, and now, finally, I had one, but wasn't sure I still wanted one. I had purchased Frank in the fall and had been busy working with him ever since. Throughout the winter, trust was being established, and once spring arrived, I had progressed to round pen and lunge line obedience training. Never having had a horse before, I was amazed at the amount of time, effort, and patience the training was taking. Nevertheless, I continued on, until one evening, I had had enough. Frank was refusing to follow commands and was being downright ornery. Our training session ended up with me hollering at him, flinging down the lunge line, and stalking off in a fit of temper up to the house, where I went straight to my computer and listed him and the brand new cart I was hoping to train him to pull, up for sale via the Internet.

The next morning, however, after a good night's sleep and prayer, I rethought my decision and cancelled the ad. Having a pony and training him for the cart was not just a whim on my part. It was something that I had spent a lot of time thinking and praying about and saving for. It was something that I truly believe that God had blessed me with — a dream, a hope that He had placed in my heart — so who was I to fling down the challenge of training and walk away?

Amazingly enough, just when I was so discouraged that I was prepared to quit, things turned around. Frank's training started to pay off, and within a matter of weeks, he was pulling the cart with me in it.

How difficult it must have been for Joseph, who also had a dream which he believed God had placed in his heart. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, accused of a crime he didn't commit, and thrown into prison, helping others out, yet again, and then having them forget him. I wonder whether he, too, felt like flinging aside the challenge to continue to live for God amidst the situation he found himself in, giving up his hope and dream, and, mentally at least, stalking away? I expect that much like you and I, he probably did have such times. In the end, however, he kept going, doing what God called him to do, being a witness within his circumstances, waiting upon God to open the way for him.

Likewise, each of us experiences challenges as we strive toward our own God-given hopes and dreams. Each of us has times when we wonder, Is this really of God, or did I mishear His voice? We ask ourselves, Is it really worth it, or should I simply throw in the towel? Today might be one of those moments for you, If so, hang in there. Rise to the challenge at hand on the wings of prayer, and know that success might be closer than you think.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the hopes and dreams that You have given each of us. Bless us with strength, courage to rise on the wings of prayer, and faith to meet the challenges set before us, that You might be glorified as the desires of our hearts reach their fulfillment. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful challenge Lynne.

    Dear Lynne;
    Thank you for that beautiful devotional. Amen to your prayer.

    Thank you Lynne for this encouraging word. The Lord knew I’d be down tonight about something that has happened and provided this word. His timing is always impeccable. Blessings.

    Another great devotional Lynne, Thank you. And Thanks to Frank who was “placed” in your path, enabling you to learn patience, trust and faith…and ultimately, to share with each of us this lesson.

    Excellent message Lynne. It encouraged me regarding a situation with my autistic son. Thank you for sharing.

    Amen sister!

    Thank you again Lynne. This touches my heart and speaks into my situation today. I always appreciate your thoughts and devotionals.
    Continued blessings.
    (BC Canada)

    A lovely encouragement. Much appreciated.
    Keep sharing your insights; they are always so down-to-earth and easy to relate to.

    Lynne – “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (NASB)
    What a great story and application! I have had situations that have brought me to despair, to the point of giving up, only to get the victory of completing something that I thought was impossible.
    Giving praise to Him.

    Thanks Lynne for the interesting account of acquiring your first horse (something that, Alas! never fell to my lot) and the review of Joseph’s courage in not throwing in the towel when the butler forgot about him. There is never a retelling of that story but that it nerves again one’s resolve to persevere in the quest. Brings to mind Luther’s hymn “He that would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster…etc.” God give us the grace to press on no matter what befalls.

    Lynne this reminds me that once a young woman had planned and looked forward to becoming a nurse all through high school. She was accepted and stayed in her classes one day and then left. It was the challenge she wanted not the actual new identity.
    I spent over 50 years mothering, educating and encouraging our adopted son. My husband and our daughter both had wanted him more eagerly than I had. I became a single mother when he was a young boy. That was lonely for him.

    Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for the devotional today. Yes this was one of those days. I got a great big smile on my face when I read,
    “Each of us has times when we wonder, Is this really of God, or did I mishear His voice? We ask ourselves, Is it really worth it, or should I simply throw in the towel? Today might be one of those moments for you, If so, hang in there. Rise to the challenge at hand on the wings of prayer, and know that success might be closer than you think.”
    God knew this was exactly what I needed to hear. So, I’ll hang in there. Thanks.

    Very challenging for all of us to remember God will not fail us if we keep on keeping.
    Keep writing.

    Hi Lynne ~ used this devotional at a meeting this week. I had not read it before the meeting but as so often happens I believe it spoke to more than one of those present. Thank you for continuing to help me to share the Good News with others in such a meaningful way.

    Dear Lynne, Just brought in your devotional. I’m astonished at how relevant it is to a challenge I am facing. I’m so tempted to put my whole situation in the garbage. You encourage me. I won’t give up yet. I hope and pray I am doing the right thing. Thanks for your help.

Previous Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.