As a freshman in high school, the orchestra conductor placed me in the third chair trombone section.  Naïve as I was about orchestras, it just seemed like a random seating arrangement until the fourth chair trombone player challenged me, and we had to compete for my third chair position.  I kept my third chair but lost my sense of security and innocence about being challenged.
At times others will challenge us, the culture might challenge us, and sometimes God will challenge us.  Our  response often determines the direction of our future.  If we face challenges in fear and intimidation, we may respond through fight or flight.  If we face challenges with faith and intentionality, we can soar in the victory that Jesus provides, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
We need not fear the future because “if God be for me, who can be against me.”  Our greatest challenge is not in the culture, economic conditions, or persecutions, but to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Pastor Steve

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