Summary: "Confront" is the word of choice when referring to the many and varied challenges we face in life. It means "to face, especially in challenge". (Webster)
CONFRONTING LIFE’S GREAT CHALLENGES
“…I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” II Corinthians 7:4-6 (NKJV)
"Confront" is the word of choice when referring to the many and varied challenges we face in life. It means "to face, especially in challenge". (Webster).
I. CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGE OF BESETTING SIN:
Hebrews 12:1 says: "…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." The NKJV translates "beset" as "ensnares"; NASB" uses "entangles". See if you can identify the besetting (ensnaring) sin in your own life:
“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.” Colossians 3:5-9 (NASB)
Let’s mention some besetting sins that a Christian might wrestle with.
Lust: "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." James 1:14-15
Anger: "Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself." Proverbs 22:24-25 NASB.
Covetousness: (the source of envy and jealousy): "And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Luke 12:15.
In facing our besetting sin, we must never lose sight of the promise: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13.
II. CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGE OF DEBILITATING DOUBT
Doubt can cripple our Christian walk; rob us of inner peace and joy and silence our lips from giving praise and thanksgiving. No one is immune from doubt as evidenced by the question imposed by John the Baptist:
“Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him: “Art thou He who should come, or do we look for another?” Matthew 11:2-3.
III. CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGE OF FEAR:
Even Paul experienced this! Writing to the church in Corinth he related the troubling experiences he had in Macedonia. “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” II Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV).
He summarized his trials in their midst in II Corinthians 7:5b. “Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.”
IV. CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGE OF DISCOURAGEMENT:
"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." Hebrews 12:3.
Discouragement has spiritually disabled countless numbers of Christians. Discouragement causes us to lose heart in the battle against evil and to lose interest in the work of the Lord.
We can become discouraged by our own failures; disappointment in others; difficulties that seem overwhelming and a host of other things. The children of Israel were discouraged by the lack of faith on the part of their own brethren as described in Deuteronomy 1:28.
"Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying: ’The people are greater and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."
V. THE STRENGTH TO CONFRONT LIFE’S GREAT CHALLENGES:
“Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” II Corinthians 7:6. As the need arises, God will always send a “Titus” to strengthen you, as His Word says: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words:” I Thessalonians 4:18.
Moses knew that Joshua would face some stern challenges as he led Israel to conquer the land of Canaan. Because the task was so great, Moses knew that there would be times when Joshua would experience doubt, fear and discouragement.