Challenges make us stronger

May 12, 2024

A doctor was impressed that his patient was in such great shape.

“You must get lots of exercise,” the doctor said.

“Oh, yes,” the patient replied. “Just the other day, I walked 5 miles over rough terrain, making my way over steep hills, climbing across rocks, wading through creeks, and fighting my way through briars and thistles.”

Impressed, the doctor said, “You are certainly a committed outdoorsman.”

“Not really, doctor,” the patient said. “I’m just a really bad golfer.”

That fellow’s failures on the golf course proved to be good for him. Our failures in life are good for us, too, making us tougher, stronger and smarter.

That was also the case for people in the early church who faced so much adversity in their day. The Apostle Paul, speaking for those believers said this:

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

The reason, Paul pointed out, is that Jesus was with them, just as He is with Christians of today.

I love that Jesus is always there for us in good times and bad. I love that the Bible lets us know that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Knowing that, Christians can face adversity with confidence, but that confidence shouldn’t be in themselves.

It should be in God, knowing that He will be with them in every situation.

Daniel had that confidence when he was thrown into the lion’s den. Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego had that confidence when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Paul and Silas had that confidence when they were thrown into prison. And you can have that confidence, too, no matter what you’re facing.

Winston Churchill, the prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, always seemed to have that kind of confidence. People have debated for years whether Churchill was a believer. What we know is that his speeches were seasoned with references to the King James Bible. And we know he saw WWII as a struggle between good and evil.

Churchill refused to give in to evil, and he challenged his people to be just as steadfast. One of his most famous quotes came from a speech delivered at a time when it looked as if Great Britain was on the verge of being conquered by Nazi forces.

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

That old golfer can attest, refusing to give in will not only make us tougher, it will make us better.


Reach Roger Alford at (502) 514-6857 or

phil malicote