July 10, 2006

Courage for the Challenge

Matthew 28:16-20

"I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20


In his book Wild at Heart John Eldredge says there comes a point in every boy's life when he asks himself, "Do I have what it takes?" The answer he gets will shape the way he will tackle future challenges. Eldredge tells a story about rock climbing with his sons. One son got stuck on a difficult ledge and was ready to come down when his dad called up, "Go on. You can do it!" He then watched as the boy strained through the tough spot and scrambled to the top of the rock, a champion.

To hear the voice of a parent or other close mentor does an amazing thing in the heart of a child. The strength of the one giving encouragement enables the struggler to overcome a challenge that may seem insurmountable. That's why it's called encouragement.

Jesus has laid a huge challenge before his church: "Make disciples of all nations." And he knows we can't do it alone. As we seek to be obedient to Christ's command, even in our small spheres--families, workplaces, neighborhoods--we may feel like a child alone on a steep rock face. What can we possibly do to influence our workplace to operate more Christianly? How do we effectively point our neighbors to Jesus?

We need to hear the encouraging voice of Jesus in our ears: "I'm with you! You can do it!" And we know he'll remain with us--"to the very end of the age."

Father, we need to hear your voice speaking to us. Fill us with your strength to overcome our challenges, and give us the courage to make an impact for Christ today. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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