You've probably heard the story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were ordered to bow down and worship the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar or be thrown into a blazing fire. Not only would they be thrown in, but the King ordered the fire to be SEVEN times HOTTER!
Many of us think if we do the right things and say all the right things, life will get easier. But this shows us that when we stand our ground for what is right, when we enter a trial or a test, things can get even hotter before we come out of it.
These boys, teenagers at that, refused to turn from God. They refused to bow down to the nasty King, and they were thrown into the furnace. They did EVERYTHING right, and yet they still went thru the fire.
Have you been asked to do something unethical at work or risk losing your job?
Has your marriage gotten difficult and you aren't sure what will happen next?
Is your relationship with your kids struggling?
Are you facing a health issue that doesn't seem to be getting any better?
My cousin suffered a major heart attack 13 days ago. He is young, in his 40's. He loves Jesus. He is a committed follower. He has 4 children. He is loved by so many, yet today he is still fighting for his life. He is still in ICU, not breathing completely on his own. He's in a FIRE. He's done everything right. He's served God, served his community, served his family, yet God allowed him to go into the furnace.
Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? There will never be a time in our life when we don't' have stressful situation come our way. God doesn't keep us from them, but He does walk through them with us, just as He was in the fire with the three boys. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew God would be with them in the fire. And we have the same hope and confidence in God.
God is Holy.
God is Good.
When we ask why, we are doubting who God is. God will always be Holy and God will always be good. We doubt this when he doesn't do what we ask. But, our circumstances don't alter who God is. We can always say God is good when wonderful things are happening. But God is good NO MATTER WHAT we are going through.
In Isaiah 41:10 God says:
Don't be afraid, for I am with you,
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
We don't have to be afraid, because He is with us!!!
And in the new testament Paul admonishes us in Phillipians 4:5-7:
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God's presence is greater than our problems. He has more wisdom than we do. He has more awareness than we do.
And if He is with us, we can walk through any stressful situation this world throws our way.