Difficulty Turned Opportunity
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn…….” – Psalm 37:3-6 (NIV).
When the pleasures of our heart are focused on the Lord, we have great confidence in His promise of safety, help, and prosperity. It’s not difficult to entrust Him with our deepest concerns and our most precious possessions, because the Lord is trustworthy. Darkness may be enveloping the earth, but we have assurance that the promise of His glory will shine on us. “See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” – Isaiah 60:2. Because our trust is complete in the Lord, we always expect things to turn in our favour.
Life’s difficulties can literally become the Lord’s opportunities. Paul said it this way: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV).
Although none of us look forward to difficulties, insults, or persecution, we can be confident that when we are at our weakest, the Lord will demonstrate His mighty strength on our behalf! When problems come into our lives, we can look to the Word of God and be assured that He will turn every situation to our advantage.
Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (NIV). What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn to our advantage.
God is Able to Save Us
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to the gold statue King Nebuchadnezzar had fashioned in his own likeness, he flew into a rage and ordered them to be thrown into a fiery furnace. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king” – Daniel 3:16-17 (NIV).
Neither the jealous insinuations of the astrologers nor the ugly threats of King Nebuchadnezzar frightened these three young men into compromising the integrity of their faith or their personal convictions. Instead they gave bold and unhesitating witness to their allegiance to the one true God. They had a hope and a faith that were fixed on Him who was their refuge and strength – Psalm 46:1. They also knew that God’s wrath against sin and disobedience was far worse than human wrath – cf. Lev. 26. Thus, as an expression of unconditional faith, complete trust and total loyalty to God, they said, “But even if He does not.” They possessed a faith that trusted and obeyed God regardless of the consequences. Obedience and persevering trust in God, and not necessarily the experience of deliverance, give true evidence of biblical faith. Like many of the great saints of the Bible, these three friends had their faith greatly tested.
We may feel as if we are in a fiery furnace like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego we can experience supernatural victory when we trust in the Living God as our safety and protector. Notice what the king said after God delivered them: “…….Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who has sent His angel and rescued His servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God” – verse 28 (NIV).
These three men who remained true to God even at the possible cost of their lives serve to condemn the spiritual and moral compromise of those who use contemporary influences and customs as an excuse for their worldly actions. God does not accept the reasoning that we may do something simply because “everyone is doing it.” We should diligently ask God to put a firm determination within our hearts to remain true to Him and His Word, regardless of the consequences.
Trust in the Lord
What a testimony we become to the world when we make bold statements of trust in God no matter what threatens us. Like the psalmist we can declare: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV).
Watch and Pray
“Real praying is a costly exercise but it pays far more than it costs. It is not easy work but it is most profitable of all work. We can accomplish more by time and strength put into prayer than we can be putting the same amount of time and strength into anything else.” R.A. Torrey.
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