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Read Romans 5: 1-5

So now, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has in mind for us to be.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us - they help us to learn to be patient. Romans 5: 1-3 (TLB)

Stuart Stein lives in South Dakota. As he stood near the top of a mountain near Lake Tahoe, California, his hands were shaking. His fingers felt numb, and his teeth began to chatter. At mile 22, Stuart had submerged underwater as part of a 30-mile obstacle course race, and the wind blowing into his face caused his wet hair to freeze.

His mind was spinning. I can't do this. I need to quit. Others were feeling the same effects, but they kept pushing forward. Up ahead Stuart could see an emergency vehicle. Though continuing might mean a fulfilling accomplishment, he had to quit. The comfort of the medical tent felt amazing. But that feeling was quickly replaced with shame, embarrassment, and frustration.

Jesus knows our challenges and can help us use our setbacks to reshape our life's trajectory. He allows our most disappointing times to serve as catalysts for greatness.

Stuart was faced with a critical decision on that mountain, and he needed to decide: Would this be his last race, or would he learn from his failure to properly prepare his body and mind for the next? Choosing the latter allowed Stuart the opportunity for redemption. Crossing the finish line the following year was an incredible feeling and taught him a great lesson - all to God's glory!

Prayer: Dear God, help us to embrace the challenges that come our way and to see them as opportunities to place our faith and trust in you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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