“Pastor, how long is a person supposed to go through a challenge before the challenge expires?
The formal school system paints a clear picture of what a challenge is and what it intends to accomplish in a person’s life. In a formal school system, nobody changes class without writing an exam. So after a successful session, you’re expected to do an exam to prove that you understood everything you learnt during that session and also advance to the next level.
You may skip classes, but you can’t skip the exam if you want to go to the next level. In Nigeria for instance, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on a strike that lasted for almost a year, yet when students finally resumed, they had to do exams. Their schools expected that they would have done some personal development at home or at least helped themselves with the lectures for the sessions they missed, but the school still had to make them go through an exam to ascend to the next level.
Just as time cannot skip an exam for you, time cannot resolve certain life challenges for you. And if you want to ascend to the next level, you have to resolve those challenges on time.
That’s right! Delay in resolving challenges can become a burden, just as not succeeding in an exam can lead to a carry over. Ask any student who had a carry over, they’d tell you how burdensome it felt. Many of them graduated, but they were not issued certificates until they passed the courses they carried over. For some students, they were never able to pass, which means they never collected their certificates.
Challenges are currencies in the realm of the spirit, but if it’s not traded on time, it would escalate to stress, and most likely distress. I’ve taught you that stress is when challenges have become overwhelming, and distress is when stress is alarming.
According to scriptures, there’s no challenge that comes to a man that he doesn’t have grace to bear, however, he must be proactive enough to find the way of escape that God had created. Just because you can bear one challenge by God’s grace doesn’t mean you can bear multiple challenges. That’s right! That’s what happens when you don’t find the way of escape from a challenge on time. More challenges will be added till it becomes stress, and then graduates to distress.
Perhaps 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 will now make sense to you. It says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”.
Challenges are necessary to validate our Christian experience. God was challenged in the beginning, but that challenge worked out an exceeding weight of glory for Him. The earth which He previously created was without form and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep waters. God is light, yet darkness found its way to something God created. Clearly, that was a challenge. But the moment God introduced light, the situation began to change. Just because we are the light of the world doesn’t mean we won’t be challenged. We must be challenged so that we can let our light shine before men.
My emphasy here is that although challenges validate our Christian faith, but overcoming challenges on time is important to maintain our sanity. If the bible says we’re only expected to endure afflictions for a moment, then we need to know what a moment really means. Let me give you a few hints on what a moment means:
1. It means “ONE DAY”
Psalms 30:5 says “…weeping may endure till the night, but joy cometh in the morning”. In other words, a challenge should not go beyond a day if you find adequate truth that is bright enough to give the morning light. Of course, the challenge won’t just go by the morning because the bible said so, no! It would go by light! And I mean access to the truth. It is possible for a challenge to leave you the same day it came, but it all depends on if you’re able to access adequate light to destroy that challenge.
2. It means “THREE DAYS”
In case you feel hopeless about a situation, probably because you see that everything you represent or have worked for has been destroyed, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I’d rebuild it in 3 days”. No case is ever closed for the one who believes. Jesus was dead, and after 3 days He rose from the dead. So whoever told you that you can’t recover all that has been destroyed by the enemy?
But again, your restoration is still a function of discovery and application of light. First, settle in your heart that it can be done, then go all out in search of truth that can lighten the situation. Remember that it’s only the truth that can make you free.
3. It means “FOUR DAYS”
Lazarus’s death was already a forgotten case. He was dead, buried, and his grave was a no-go-area because it was stinking. He had been dead for 4 days. But guess what? Jesus still considered it a light affliction which was only supposed to last for a moment. And even the four days was still within the “moment” bracket. Yeah, some situations can be that disgusting. And we can easily be tempted to believe that there’s no remedy. But God is saying that even situations as disgusting as that can yield ear tingling testimonies within four days, if you access the truth required.
4. It means “SIX DAYS”
This is the crux of it. It would have been 7 days, except that God rested on the 7th day. Just imagine, the most intricate of situations was resolved within six days. If your situation won’t require you to create the world, then six days is too much to break free from whatever it is.
So, count from the day that challenge started. Has it been more than 6 days? Or has it chopped into your rest? Hey, don’t you agree that you’ve compassed that mountain long enough? Isn’t it time to enforce a change? Like I’d always recommend; buy books and listen to messages that directly addresses your challenge. The more you know, the closer you get to the solution to that challenge. It’s never a matter of time alone, it’s always a matter of application of knowledge over time.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!