When facing trying times it can sometimes feel like the Light has been put to rest.
…Hope is buried away in a tomb and mourned…
…the roaring lions in the pit surround us as the only way out is sealed shut….
& the fire we enter threatens to destroy….
But with God, nothing is impossible and joy always comes in the morning.
We search for the Light, we cry out for resurrection, we pray for deliverance from the roaring pit and fiery furnace.
& with God, all things are possible.
To be honest, when I see danger coming and trials and tribulation knocking at my door, I pray for a way out. I pray for a miracle. I pray for deliverance from the coming storm before it even arrives. I look at the forecast and pray for God to defy all worldly odds and dissipate the storm.
But if God worked that way all the time, we wouldn’t receive the pure oil that can only come from the pressing.
I was reading chapters 3 and 6 of Daniel and was in. awe.
The deliverance did not come before the fiery furnace or the roaring pit…it came IN the furnace and pit.
When Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go, were threatened with death by fire, they stood firm in their allegiance to the Holy One of Isra’el, they said, “Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up” Daniel 3:17-18.
The fire was added to and increased, they were tied up and thrown in!
“Suddenly N’vukhadnetzar sprang to his feet. Alarmed, he asked his advisers, ‘Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the flames?’ They answered the king, ‘Yes, of course, your majesty.’ But he exclaimed, ‘Look! I see four men, not tied up, walking around there in the flames, unhurt; and the fourth looks like one of the gods.” Daniel 3: 24-25.
Let’s pause for a moment. Take a look at your trial. We can walk into whatever you may be facing and trust that Jesus will meet us in it.
What was the fruit of this miraculous entrance of God into the fiery furnace?
“The viceroys, prefects, governors and royal advisers who were there saw that the fire had no power on the bodies of these men– not even their hair was singed, their clothes looked the same, and they didn’t smell of fire…[the following letter was sent out] From: N’vukhadnetzar the king, To: All the peoples, nations and languages living throughout the earth: ‘Shalom rav! [abundant peace] I am pleased to recount the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. How great are his signs! How powerful his wonders! His kingdom lasts forever, and he rules all generations.” Daniel 3:27, 31-32.
Because the deliverance had happened IN the fiery furnace, God’s power was seen at work and His Name was proclaimed throughout all the earth!
Another time this pattern of deliverance and good fruit was produced was in Daniel chapter 6.
As Daniel, too, stood firm in his faith despite a new decree from the king to cease praying. He was plotted against and even though he had the king’s favor, he could not escape the consequences.
“So the king gave the order, and they brought Dani’el and threw him into the lion pit. The king said to Dani’el, ‘Your God, whom you are always serving, will save you.’ A stone was brought to block the opening of the pit, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing concerning Dani’el could be changed” Dani’el 6: 17-18.
“Early in the morning, the king got up and hurried to the lion pit. On approaching the pit where Dani’el was, the king cried in a pained voice to Dani’el, ‘Dani’el, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you are always serving, been able to save you from the lions?’ Then Dani’el answered the king, ‘May the king live forever! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths, so they haven’t hurt me…” Daniel 6: 2-23.
God was with Him in the pit just like He was with the three men in the fiery furnace. Even though the pit was blocked with a stone and sealed with the king’s signet, God showed up!
The fruit of this display of deliverance was, yet again, another proclamation to the entire kingdom to tremble and be in awe of the God of Dani’el: “For he is the living God; he endures forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed; his rulership will last till the end. He saves, rescues, does signs and wonders both in heaven and on earth. He delivered Dani’el from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:28.
Hope is not dead when sent into the pits of trial and tribulation. Our Hope is ALIVE. We have the assurance of the Living God who is our Living Hope that no matter what our circumstances look like, no matter how powerful the wind and the waves come crashing down, no matter what the prognosis of the doctors report..we…have…the assurance of His Faithfulness.
After Jesus paid our debt for us, He, our Living Hope, was brought down from the Cross and placed in darkness. The Messiah was now asleep; his heartbeat stilled and breath left him.
When betrayal, mockery and persecution begins…we have Hope in resurrection.
When we carry the cross up from the valley of accusation…we have Hope in resurrection.
When there seems as if there is no way out, the stone’s been rolled over our only exit and our fate appears as if it’s been sealed….we have Hope in resurrection.
Because of the ultimate act of deliverance displayed by God for all of eternity to see:
“After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of Adonai came down from heaven, rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were as white as snow. The guards were so terrified at him that they trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Yeshua, who was executed on the stake. He is not here, because he has been raised– just as he said!…” Matthew 28:1-6.
& now after the grand finale of Hope being resurrected out of the pits of despair and hopelessness, let us look at the fruit.
God’s power has been seen at work in Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to the Father’s right hand.
God’s faithfulness has been displayed for all of eternity past to eternity future to see.
God’s promise has been fulfilled to send His Right Arm and only Unique Son, Jesus as an atoning sacrifice once and for all. His mercies have been poured out on ALL. We have been freed from the wages of sin, which is death, and given ETERNAL LIFE. We can drink from the well of the Living Water that springs up inside of us thanks to what His zeal has accomplished for us.
All we have to do is choose Him. Choose Life. Choose Love. Choose Jesus.
“…Look! God’s lamb! The one who is taking away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.
This, my friend, is why every time we face an approaching storm, pit, furnace, or tomb, we can rejoice because our God is good and the fruit of His power that will be seen at work in it will be sweet.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2