TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
(Dan. 3:16-18 NKJV)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king,
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able
to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you,
O king, that we do not serve your gods,
nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
God is mighty-- and God is able, God is a healer in so many different ways. But there are times when His hand will stay still no matter how much we pray. It does not mean He is not listening or doesn't care. It does not mean we do not have enough faith, sometimes it simply means God is saying, "Not in this way."
TODAY’S INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
A while back I wrote about refining fires we go through and times of affliction that God uses to cleanse us (and to change us), and to draw us back to Him. But there are other fires we must sometimes face that have nothing to do with cleansing or purifying. These fires will sometimes come even though we have done nothing to call for them-- we aren't being corrected or disciplined, or even cleansed. Sometimes we can be doing everything right, but still face harsh fires in life. And when these happen, God will stand with us through them. And in them, He is glorified.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Aded-Nego were being obedient. They had not turned from God, they worshiped God, and God alone. But because of their faith they were tossed into a fiery furnace. Yet these men still upheld that God was a good God. They truly believed that God could and would save them. But they also said that if God chose not to, then they would still not forsake Him. Why? Because these men knew that even in death, they had victory. They knew that God could save them, but if He chose NOT to, then they were confident that there would be a good reason, and ultimately they would be with Him.
My friend, sometimes this is a hard thing to accept, and an even harder thing to understand. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are not on this side of death. I know when my grandfather died many years ago, he was middle aged. He had just retired. He was "bigger than life" a "Man's Man"-- everyone knew who ruled in his household. He was big, and bold, and stood his ground. He loved life, and loved his family, and he loved God. But he had a stroke and the man who came home was not the grandfather I had grown up with. And then a few short years later he died of cancer. So many people prayed for him. But he wasn't healed-- not the way we wanted, but in my heart, I know he was healed in the best way for him. Those few years in between the stroke and the cancer were hard on him. You see, it took everything from him, and the man I grew up with would not have wanted to live like that. So as awful as it may seem for me to say this, I am relieved-- not because he died, but because he was no longer suffering. He may not be here with us-- but I know he is in the kingdom of heaven and in all of God's glory. I know that Jesus was there waiting to greet him, and my grandfather received his crown that is promised to each of us who finish strong in faith.
I know your troubles and that you are poor, but really you are rich! I know the bad things some people say about you. They say they are Jews, but they are not true Jews. They are a synagogue that belongs to Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer for ten days. But be faithful, even if you have to die, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2:9-10 NCV).
"I am coming soon. Continue strong in your faith so no one will take away your crown. I will make those who win the victory pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, that comes down out of heaven from my God. I will also write on them my new name" (Rev. 3:11-12 NCV).
There are other types of "deaths" that we must sometimes face too. They aren't pleasant, but then death never is. Sometimes relationships die, sometimes it is a dream we have had for a really long time. Sometimes it is a job. It is hard to understand when we are going through it why God's hand is still during these times. But it may be the only way He can get us to move into all He would have for us. We can't see the bigger picture, we are limited to what is right now-- but He can see. He knows what is out there in front of us, just waiting. He knows what is on the other side, and how (and what it will take) to get us there.
A few years ago I was in a job that was good. The people there were good to me-- but in my heart I could never settle in, and something in me grieved. And when it was time for me to move; God made sure I did not have a choice. You see, I kept digging my heels in, trying to do the "right thing." But God knew He had so much more for me, (for one I wasn't writing while I was working at this job), and I wasn't where God needed (or called) me to be. So instead of leaving it up to me to make the decision; God took it out of my hands. I have a great appreciation for why He allowed the suffering of the Israelites and the plagues on the Egyptians. God made sure His people had no choice-- they were driven out. God didn't leave the decision up to them, or ask them, "Would you like to spend the next forty years with me in the desert?" When it was time, He simply made sure they moved. You see, even if He had explained, they would not have been able to mentally comprehend all they would have to go through, and all He had for them. And this is the same for you and me now.
My friend, please hear me when I say to you, that even when we cannot see the hand of God moving in our circumstances, we can trust God (and know the heart of God is for us)! Even if we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, we can believe that His promises are "Yes and Amen." We can trust that He has plans for us that are so much more than what we can see at the moment, even if that future is on the other side of a "death." He will not abandon us, nor forsake us... He will not fail us. It is His job to be God, and it is our job to stand in faith even when we cannot see His hand moving.
PRAYING IN FAITH;
Father God, sometimes it is so hard when we are facing situations that we know You can change, but for whatever reason we don't see Your hand moving in it. But it is at these times when we have to decide, are we going to stay in faith believe that You are a good God. Lord, throughout the ages You have proven Yourself faithful. Lord, there is nothing weak about our God. The Lion of Judah is still just as powerful. Lord, when we can't understand the "why" please help us to be steadfast in the truth that You are a sovereign and mighty God. Father God, I lift this reader up to You and ask You to be with them. Lord, I pray You will fill them with peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, I ask You to strengthen them, and help them to stay focused on You. Help them to know that You have not left them, nor turned Your back on them. Lord, help them to know that You ARE for them, and no matter what they may be facing at the moment, You have good plans for them. Lord, I ask You to direct their steps. I ask You to lead them, and bring them through to all that You have waiting for them. Lord, I ask You to whisper into their hearts and let them know they are loved. Lord, help them to stand steadfast in You.
In Jesus' Mighty Name,
~ My friend, I hope you are doing well, have a blessed and glorious day.
Do you have something God has brought you through?If so I would love to hear from you.