≡ Menu

The Challenge of Faith

Today’s Reflection

WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I attended a Lutheran Church a block away from my house in rural Illinois. I first heard the story of David and Goliath around the same time I wished to bring home all the stuffed animals from the toy store. I remember admiring David, the unlikely young hero, and feeling intimidated by the giant Goliath. David still inspires me, and Goliath still intimidates me. David’s dilemma in the face of Goliath illustrates a tension in the Christian faith. On the one hand, we are dependent on God and cannot do anything apart from Jesus. (See John 15:5.) On the other hand, we are capable of doing even greater works than those Jesus performed. (See John 14:12.) Sometimes the challenge of faith is to hold two truths at once and to sit with the complexity and tension. Remembering we are not self-sufficient keeps us from pride and self-idealization. Remembering we are capable empowers us when we might feel immobilized. We need Jesus, and through Jesus we are capable of anything.

—Angela D. Schaffner
Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself

From page 20 of Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself by Angela D. Schaffner. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What Goliaths in your life do you need Jesus’ help in conquering? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
—John 14:12, NIV

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, help me to see myself in your Word, so that others might see you in me. Amen.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Join The Upper Room staff for Lenten morning prayer. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 9:00 a.m. (CST) and continuing on Wednesdays through Holy Week, we will meet online for 15 minutes to pray together. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Arianna March 5, 2019, 12:19 am

    Conquering fear and letting go of anxiety. Being able to nurture my son as he grows in goodness and love and freedom without being crippled by fear. Lord, help me win these Goliaths today.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 5, 2019, 12:51 am

    Welcome Arianna!

    At this stage of my life, I would like to keep fit and eat well so that when I grow old, I will not be a burden to others or need to depend on helpers. Therefore, the giants I need God to help me conquer are to be disciplined to exercise regularly and eat balanced meals each day.

    Blessings!

  • robert moeller March 5, 2019, 5:02 am

    New format, shared computer, and finding time to get on the internet are my latest challenges. I’m a day late posting, but saw this yesterday.

    I think God only knows how I would respond to Jesus’ call. I want to think that I would respond as the disciples or Zaccheus did. Our call in these times is quite different, we don’t see Jesus face to face.The tug on our heart comes through the Bible, the spirit, and faith.

    Thankful that taxes are done, accepted, and paid. Am preparing for Lent, concerned about the LGBTQ community and the UMC, and ready for a train show on Saturday at the sports center of my high school. Thankful that Anneliese has been able to get out of the house and do simple grocery shopping. No word yet on the plan that will hopefully help her serious spinal problems. Thankful for Shrove Tuesday dinner.

    Prayers for Gloria, her family, Marcy and her helper Mary, Julie and Megan,
    Andrea and Lowell and the well being of the UR family. May God’s wisdom come to and guide the leaders of governments everywhere. May every believer and soon to be believer have a helpful, blessed, and constructive Lent.
    Thank You, Lord.

  • Betsy March 5, 2019, 7:01 am

    My biggest obstacles are often my feelings of self doubt. Can I follow God’s path? Am I up to the task before me? Looking toward Him for strength and guidance.
    Have been away for awhile and not used to this new format. I’ve beem reading, but I’ve not been able to bring up the comments for the day. Blessings to Robert, Jill, Mary, Marcy, Julie, Rusty and all who visit the UR site this day.

  • Julie March 5, 2019, 8:08 am

    I, too, have been unable to post or red comments of late. I have had the new format for quite some time.
    My Goliath’s are now finding not just a new church but also a new denomination as I can no longer in good conscience remain with the Methodist church. I also would like to attend year round and serve the Lord by volunteering in some capacity. But due to the Reynaud’s (another Goliath) I am not able. Lastly, but certainly just as daunting, my home situation.
    Prayers for Mary as I too worry about aging. I also exercise and am vegetarian.
    Prayers for Robert as he wrestles with the same misgivings about the church that I mentioned above.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family, Lou and her family, and April and her family.
    Prayers for Rusty, may his health improve.
    Prayers for Connie, may her soul be light filled.
    Prayers for Edy and Bill, may Bill be healed of his tumor.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they be healed soon.
    Prayers for Jill and her family, may Gloria fell the Lord’s peace.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family

    • robert moeller March 7, 2019, 6:40 am

      The UMC special conference has not resolved anything, the ship isn’t sinking, very hopefully a Godly resolution will be forthcoming after more searching, prayer, and better understanding in the Wesley tradition. It doesn’t hurt to look, have a life jacket on, but let’s see what happens before abandoning ship.

  • Andrea March 5, 2019, 9:27 am

    The Goliaths in my life – being rude to my husband at times; letting the house get messy. I was rude to my husband last night and I know I hurt his feelings. I apologized quickly but he is distant. He is so dear to me and I have so much remorse about how short I am at times.

    It’s strange when the comment section isn’t accessible, such as yesterday. I miss seeing friends’ names. Prayers for you and those you pray for. Wishing all a blessed day.

  • Marcy March 5, 2019, 1:51 pm

    Many Goliaths, but my David, God, our Father is with me. I’m upset about UMC decision also. I Love you all, dearest UR siblings, and pray every day for all of you. Praying for or country, and all of God’s creation. 2 MRI’S this Friday, finally approval insurance. Hope to be able to see again after new med for migraines and new glasses, about a monrh. Neck surgery to be schefld, with neuro surgeon, causing migraines in part. I will continue to pray for and am so thankful for yur prayers, famil6! I miss you all terrible!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Julie March 5, 2019, 6:51 pm

      Oh thank you Lord that we have heard from Marcy and she is receiving needed medical attention at last. God bless you Marcy and may all your tears and surgeries go well. My prayers for you continue and are offered up to the Lord throughout the day.

  • Marcy March 5, 2019, 1:57 pm

    Shrove Tuesday, eat pancakes? Ash Wednesday tomorrow, beginning Lent. Wish I could go to church. God’s heavenly blessings to all! ♡♡♡♡

    • robert moeller March 7, 2019, 6:34 am

      Have no idea why this church celebrates Shrove Tuesday with pancakes, but it is a long standing tradition. Yes. I wish you could go to church too. Hopefully you received ashes on Ash Wednesday. Glad to read your post not matter how short. Blessings and God’s healing peace to you.

  • Rusty March 5, 2019, 6:06 pm

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. You all are so dear. Blessings to everyone!

  • robert moeller March 7, 2019, 6:31 am

    Setting and maintaining boundaries has been an enormous Goliath for me. I have a very hard time to say “no” when I should.

    Thankful for “ashes” yesterday, the return of the internet, and hopefully a resolution to the two septic system problems this morning.

    Prayers for a Godly resolution to the problem facing the UMC regarding homosexuality. I pray God wants everyone included. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Prayers for a safe day skiing and snowshoeing today. Prayers for Anneliese, hel health and well being. God’s peace for Gloria, healing and support for Marcy and Julie, restoration for Andrea and Lowell. comfort and consolation for Connie, strength and well being for Betsy, Grace, Kelsey, and Harrison.
    God’s bountiful blessings to all the UR family.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: