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“IT IS NOT GOOD FOR THE MAN TO BE ALONE. I WILL MAKE A HELPER SUITABLE FOR HIM.” – GENESIS 2:18

God created men and women to have different roles. God first created Adam and gave him the responsibility to work in the garden, and God created Eve to be a help mate for Adam. In order to fulfill his responsibilities in the garden, Adam needed help and God gave that responsibility to Eve. If Adam was to achieve his God given objectives in life, he needed the help of his mate.

In the creation of Eve, we can see that God set forth his plan for the role of women. God’s plan was for Eve to be at Adam’s side – from having offspring to being Adam’s partner and counterpart in carrying out his God given duties. Eve was the needed part of Adam (Genesis 2:18) – making him complete in agreeing with him mentally, physically and spiritually. She was not made as an inferior being in any degree, but with a different yet equally important role and purpose in life.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says ‘All things should be done decently and in order’. We know that God is a God of order and we can see this from the very beginning in Genesis when He establishes the family, setting out its organisation. So, we know that any organisation must have the roles of the members clearly defined to be able to function and the Bible has done that for us since the beginning in Genesis.

However, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world, this led to the problem of men and women not accepting or fulfilling their God given roles. Eve in a way overthrew Adam’s responsibility in leadership and listened to Satan’s lies instead of God and her husband. She took the fruit and gave it also to her husband who stood down from this leadership position that God had given him, and he also ate from the fruit – thus bringing the entire human race into sin.

Sin degraded the man’s and women’s roles… leading them into pride, which was the very thing that caused Lucifer himself to fall. We can see that so clearly in this day and age. Women fighting for fair treatment has done some good, as they have been treated badly historically and have had less value in society than men. However, the feminism movement at its core has tried to define womanhood on its own terms. It is no longer about having equal rights to men, but it is redefining womanhood all together according to man’s and women’s terms rather than how God defines womanhood. Christian women must stick to God’s design for our lives.

Now we know that there is a certain way and order that God has placed within a family and in the church, but that doesn’t mean that God would want women to sit on the side lines and watch while men do all the work. God wants women to use initiative; He wants women to encourage others, to serve and to be there for other sisters in the church. We are all members of one body and we should share in each other’s burdens and trials; and rejoice in one other’s triumphs.

The wife of Moses, Zipporah, showed great initiative. Moses was about to be put to death by God because God had told Moses to go back to Egypt to save the Israelites from the Egyptians. Circumcision was an essential part of religious practise in the Old Testament and Moses knew this, yet he had not circumcised his sons. Zipporah’s quick thinking at that time saved Moses’s life. Exodus 4:24 – ‘And it came to pass on the way at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said ‘surely you are a husband of blood to me!’ So, He let him go’. Zipporah wisely intervened by circumcising his sons and therefore saving his life, so he could fulfill his mission to lead God’s people out of Egypt. Before Moses could deliver the Israelites, he had to learn a lesson of obedience himself, and God used his wife to do this.

God uses many women in the life of Moses to save his life – first his mother, then his sister, then Pharaoh’s daughter, and now his wife Zipporah. We learn from Zipporah that where there is something in our life that is not aligned with God’s word or commandments – we should be quick to change it. Although she was following the lead of her husband, she did not hold back from fixing something that was against God’s law. God wants women to be discerning. He wants women to know what is written in his word and to apply that to their lives and live in obedience.

Another example of a wonderful lady in the Old Testament is found in the book of Esther. God had a great plan for Esther and used her to save all the Jews – God’s people. We all know the story of Esther, When the King issued a deadly decree under the influence of Haman against the Jewish people, Esther’s uncle Mordecai urged her to use all her influence to change the king’s decree. But Esther humbly requested that all the Jews in Shushan should gather for three days of fasting and prayer, demonstrating her belief that only God could save her and her people. Esther 4:15: ‘Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’.

Esther did not depend on her own ability to change the King’s mind, but she immediately turned to God in fasting and in prayer, seeking His face and guidance before making any moves. She was a great example to Mordecai and to all the Jews! Not only that but she was so courageous. It was against the law to enter the inner court to the King if you had not been called. Anyone who entered the King’s courts without approval would be put to death. After fasting and praying, Esther had the courage to go against this law – and God gave her favour in the eyes of the King – and he approved her.

When the King allowed Esther to speak, he told her in Esther 5:3: ‘What do you wish Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you up to half the kingdom’. The most powerful man in the most important kingdom of its time offered Esther to name anything that she wanted. Esther did not use this opportunity to rush and ask the King to change his decree or to tell the King about Haman’s evil schemes in front of those who were there in the court – but she WAITED … and instead she invited the King to a banquet before making her request. Even after the first banquet Esther did not present her request before the King. Perhaps she was scared to tell the King she was a Jew. Perhaps she knew the King often made quick decisions without thought …. But maybe she was simply following God’s leading, making sure she did everything in God’s timing. She then invited the King to a second banquet and that’s when she told the King her request.

If you read the story of Esther, before the second banquet the King had a sleepless night and it was during that night that he learned about a courageous act from a Jew. He realised that he had not rewarded the Jew for an act of bravery… this could’ve softened the king’s heart. If Esther was quick to make her request before the king during that first entrance she made at the court, maybe the King would not have accepted it nor done anything about it. But she had patience and she waited for the right time – she waited for God to guide her. And God used so many events that didn’t make any sense to carnal minds at the time, for His glory.

We learn from Esther to seek the LORD in all that we do and never rely on our own strengths or abilities. We learn patience and prayer because those who pray in accordance with God’s will, shall receive an answer at the right time. God calls us to be women of great faith and to follow his guidance instead of relying on our own understanding – and Esther was a great example of all those things.

Yes, God has a pattern that He wants us to follow. The apostle Paul reminds us in Corinthians that the man was created first and is the head of a woman, but no one should look at women as an inferior being because this is not a matter of equality, but it is a matter of having order in creation and glorifying God. We shouldn’t forget that the Bible also says in Galatians 3:28 ‘there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.

God first made Adam and he placed him as Eve’s head. But also, Eve was made for Adam. It certainly does not mean that she was created for his possession or object of pleasure. The bible commands men to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and died for it. 1st Corinthians 11:11-12 says ‘neither is man independent of woman… even so man also comes through woman’. In other words, we are equal in the eyes of God. This world tells us that it’s old fashioned to submit and to follow in the leadership of men because it doesn’t understand God’s design and what that order symbolises and means.

The world teaches us that we have the right to have what we want when it comes to our sexuality, our identity, our beauty, our value, our worth – whatever we say goes – rather than saying ‘ok hold up, what does God’s word say? Now I’m going to align my life and my womanhood according to His truth’. Feminism is creating this idea that in order to be equal with men, we need to be the same as men – But God designed us to be women and it’s a beautiful thing – and we need to stick to His design and embrace our beautiful, feminine differences. God has used women in amazing ways in the Bible, and He can use women the same way today. We need to be obedient to His word and respect His order in creation, believing that He designed us to be unique.

Dear sister, do not allow this world to control your mind in how you ought to live out your womanhood. God created women to be beautiful and unique in their own way. God created men and women to be equally valuable yet purposely different. May we all embrace the quick thinking of Zipporah when it comes to obeying God’s commands, and the courage of Esther. May we learn how to live the same way and to apply God’s word to our lives as women. You will live satisfied, fulfilled, filled with hope and encouraged when you live in the truth of the gospel and live your life according to God’s word and God’s design for your womanhood.

Evelen

‘I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT’ – MALACHI 3:6   

How often do you find yourself changing your mind on a certain opinion, idea or even decision? Our hearts as humans are sometimes weak and failing, but He is strong, and He does not change. He is the same God that parted the sea, shut the lion’s mouth and turned a murderer into one of the greatest apostles of all times. He is the same God who died on a cross to save you and I- meaning that above all, His love for His children never lessens or changes regardless of how often our love for Him fluctuates. He LOVES us to death.

Often, we tend to forget about the sovereignty and love of God or we become impatient with waiting on God to answer our prayers, so we take matters into our own hands. We try to bring what we think God wills for us into existence or rush into something that God would’ve never wanted for us. Some days we may completely forsake Him or replace Him with other things. Little do we know that this will just bring hurt into our lives.

But when we can truly grasp onto the truth that God is sovereign, we can understand the fact that – what God has for me will be mine; regardless of what it is, it shall be for my own good and for the best. When we hold on to the truth that ‘I am the Lord and I change not’, we can look back at all the good He has done in the lives of His children in scripture and remember that He can do the same for us today.

In the book of Judges, we see a pattern in the life of the Israelites, where they constantly did evil in the eyes of the Lord and replaced Him with other gods. God then delivers them into the hands of the enemy (Hebrews 12:6). When they cried out to Him, he heard them and responds to them by reminding them of all the good He had previously done in their lives. As soon as they repented, the scriptures tell us that ‘He could bear Israel’s misery no longer’ (Judges 10:16).

How gracious and loving is our Lord in that, even when we turn away from Him, He does not take pleasure in our misery through chastisement. I’m sure a parent does not find happiness in disciplining their child when they do something wrong. Regardless, out of love for their child, they will discipline them for the child to learn. As soon as the child recognises their wrong, the parent will not cast them away or disown them – but accept their apology and embrace them.

Just like the Israelites, we can find ourselves replacing God with idols – such as hobbies, work, studies and even people. Whatever it may be, when we give these things a massive place in our hearts to the point where we are replacing God with them – they become idols. The truth is, these idols will never bring satisfaction or true contentment (Ecclesiastes 5:10). What’s worse, is that when we allow other things to take over our hearts, we tell God that His love for us is not good enough. He loves us so perfectly and desires our love in return.

I am forever grateful that I can hold on to the truth that ‘I am the Lord, I change not’ – but remind myself that I should never take advantage of this truth, because another truth is that God is Holy, and He will discipline His children when they disobey Him or do wrong, just as He did with the Israelites. Dear reader, ‘take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4). Do not forget His love for you and His goodness towards you. Trust that, if something is truly good for you – He will give it to you. ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1:17).

Evelen

‘… I WILL LOVE THEM FREELY’ – HOSEA 14:4

CHARLES SPURGEON|MORNING & EVENING|22|10|18

Dear reader, do you feel as though your heart is hardened? Perhaps you do not feel a need for God or that softening of the spirit that you ought to feel. God loves you not because you feel your need. He loves you FREELY. His love for you was stronger than the power of death, for He endured the sufferings of the cross for you. His death was a shameful death, but love despised the shame.

You, without any worthiness may rest upon the promises of God that was made to you in Christ, Jesus. ‘I will love them freely’ is the divine way in which God loves you. When Christ died for us, we didn’t deserve it, purchase it or seek after Him. He loved us just as we are. He was the one who payed the debt, a costly price – His own life. It is such a blessing to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without worthiness or suitability, without money, without price.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is the great love that was shown to us by God when we were far from Him. We were not His friends but we were His enemies. Jesus did not command us to love our enemies without showing this love to us first. Has Christ not proved Himself to be all that you need? What reason do you have to not love Him back? Has He not been there for you time and time again in the past? This love cannot be found in anything or in anyone else.

If today you are telling Him ‘my heart feels hardened’, He responds with ‘I will love you freely’. If today you say ‘But I do not feel a desire for you as I should’, He responds with ‘I will love you freely’. God’s love for you is measureless and is not based on your goodness, but it is based on His. Surely, this love will cause you to instantly love Him back – ‘We love Him because He first loved us’ (1 John 4:8).

‘Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every Stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky’.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

Dear reader – Perhaps you have been talking with God, pleading with Him, begging Him and maybe almost shouting at Him to answer your prayers about a need or request. The truth is … He hears you. It may not feel like He does since you’ve been waiting for weeks, months or maybe even years for God to answer that prayer! It’s frustrating, it’s confusing. Then you begin to ask all the ‘why’ questions and shout out the ‘I don’t understand!’ statements.

Before you allow yourself to be saturated in discouragement – I want to encourage you to get to know your God more intimately. I thank God that He never changes (Malachi 3:6). Could you imagine if God changed? We would be in big trouble! But our gracious God who is always listening and always understanding our struggles wants what is best for His children. His promises can never be broken. We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) so let’s take a closer look at How God has dealt with them in times past.

God’s timetable runs differently to yours and mine. Take Joseph for example – God had a big plan for Joseph and wanted him to be in a position of leadership and influence in Egypt. Do you remember how long it took for Joseph to get there? He was sold into slavery by his brothers when he was young. He was falsely accused by Potifar’s wife and thrown into prison for a long time. I’m sure Joseph would have been pleading with God to take him out of that prison, but maybe to him God didn’t seem to hear. When the cup bearer was let out of jail to serve the king once again, Joseph pleaded with him to ‘remember me and get me out of here’! The cup bearer remembered Joseph two years later! Why God? why two years? God wants to use you. Had Joseph been let out of prison any time before the two years ended, he would not have been given his position of leadership in Egypt.

The apostle Paul was God’s greatest apostle to the Gentiles. Paul wanted to go to Rome and then to Spain with the gospel. How did God get Paul to Rome? By having him imprisoned on a false charge. The governor, aware of Paul’s innocence, kept him in custody with hopes for a bribe. Acts 24:26 tells us that the governor left Paul imprisoned for over two years! Again – the ‘why’ comes back! Why God? Why two years? There is no such thing as instant godliness or instant spiritual maturity. In our society everything is almost instant. But just as it takes years to grow a strong tree that bears good fruit, so it also takes years to build a godly character and qualities that one requires to be an effective servant of the Lord.

What about David when he was running from cave to cave while Saul seemed to be enjoying the comforts of his palace? Wasn’t Saul the bad guy? David was seeking the Lord and walking by faith! He spared the life of Saul when he had the chance to slay him. Saul continuously tried to kill David without any cause. Sometimes you might wonder why you walk by faith yet those who live far from the Lord seem to prosper. God has not forgotten you. David was anointed King in his teens. Yet he did not sit on the throne until years later. Through those years of living in caves and running from Saul, David learned to wait upon God.

Even though sometimes it seems that God has forgotten you as we have seen with Joseph, Paul and David who were in unpleasant circumstances, God is building maturity into your life and allowing you to trust Him fully for you to be an effective servant. We are bound by time – minutes, days, weeks and years. We see what is in front of us – God sees the future and wants to use you in ways that you couldn’t have imagined. Although your prison cell is cold, uncomfortable and rotten – God has allowed you to be there for a reason. Ecclesiastes 3:11 – ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time’. Trust that the very things God has planned for you will be yours in the right time and in the right way. The same God who worked in the lives of Joseph, Paul and David will do the same for you. God builds things to last – which may take time. Even when your circumstances seem contrary, you can count on the God who loves you and truly wants what is best for you.

Psalm 103:11 “As High as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him”.

Evelen

ON MINE ARMS THEY SHALL TRUST – ISAIAH 51:5

CHARLES SPURGEON/MORNING AND EVENING|31|08|18

‘On mine arms shall they trust’ – Isaiah 51:5

‘In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God.

Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father’s arms, and is blessedly clasped therein!

When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms.

Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month’.

– This has been true in my life and makes me so grateful for the hardships and difficulties as they draw me nearer to the Lord. It is during those times when I have run to him and trusted Him to be the only source who can all together 1. understand me 2. been through what I have been through 3. holds the power to deliver me.

I hope this encourages you to praise the Lord when you’re going through a hardship and to remember that through this HE SHALL BE GLORIFIED and your faith made stronger (2nd Corinthians 12:9).

God bless.

#Isaiah #Trusthim #faith #refined #God #Jesus #Christian #Soveriegn #Glorified #strength #Charlesspurgeon #Bless #Blessing #Holy #Spirit #Father #Love

BILLY GRAHAM- ANGELS- GODS SECRET AGENTS (REVIEW)

Billy Graham, who has now gone to be with the Lord, takes us through the study of Angels; their position in heaven and their job as God’s secret Agents. Living in a world where there is talk about UFO’s, demons and magic, we can see that the devil slowly attracts people through evil book themes and movies. The devil is more at work now than ever because he knows the time is short – therefore his activity will increase to draw many away from God. This book makes us aware of the agents who are constantly watching over God’s children and fighting on our behalf against the unseen evil forces and powers of hell. Knowing that these Angels are watching over us gives us a great sense of confidence and security, reminding us that we are not alone when we face daily troubles, but we have an unseen army fighting with us, helping us to overcome the powers of darkness!

Angels, like humans, were created by God “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible” (Col 1:16 NKJ), and although they can change their appearance and become visible, the bible makes it clear that Angels are ‘ministering spirits’ (Hebrews 1:14). They also have the ability to go back and forth from heaven and earth in a flash. Angels work on our behalf and fight battles that cannot be seen by the human eye. Too often, us as humans forget that there is a spiritual world all around us. Our eyes are limited to this reality where everything we see and touch is all we know to be true. But what if we paused for a minute and pondered upon the fact that we are constantly being watched. Not only by our parents, children, brothers, sisters, wives or husbands, but by the heavenly hosts! This should encourage us to also live a life of obedience to God.

Angels never draw attention to themselves, but they give all the glory to God be being obedient to his commands in taking care of His children. ‘They always work to promote God’s plans and to bring about His will for us’. We can clearly see this pattern in the Bible, where Angels act as messengers of God bringing good news, when they fight battles for believers and sing praises to the Lord.
In the same way we should always be aiming to glorify God in all that we do – by obeying His commandments and by praising and worshipping Him. As believers, we must never forget the operation of these heavenly hosts. Just as the works of devil and his demons are made more and more noticeable by the days, we must look with our eyes of faith at the power of God’s holy angels.
If you are a believer, expect your life to be accompanied by Angels. God loves you so much that He has assigned these beings to your care, ‘For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways’ (Psalm 91:11). Ephesians 3:10 says ‘through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms’ – meaning the Angels! Again, this should be a reminder for the believer to live a life of obedience so that we may bring glory to God and the Angels may look to us and see how wonderful our creator is.

‘The man who has never married cannot fully appreciate the wonders of that relationship. The person who has never lost a father or mother cannot understand what that loss means. So, angels, great as they are, cannot testify to the salvation the same way as those who have experienced it’. Billy Graham reminds us that the Angels were never redeemed like us, therefore they cannot experience the same relationship we have with our creator. Yes, they did not need redemption, which assures them of their place in the order of God’s creation, but they are not joint heirs with Christ. They cannot testify to salvation by grace through faith. They cannot testify to something that they have never experienced, they can only rejoice with us. This brings us to a greater appreciation of the love of God to us, He sent His only begotten son redeem us and bring us into a relationship with Him!
Satan’s work is evident in the world and his attacks can be seen in the personal lives of individuals who are members of the body of Christ. We can see his work in wars, laws and other crises that effect people daily. But we are not to panic, be fearful or feel distressed because this gives us hope as it indicates the second coming of Christ! Billy Graham reminds us that one of the devil’s sly techniques is to distract us from the things of God and divert our minds from the help that God offers us in our struggles against the forces of evil.

God has not only given us the greatest helper, the Holy Spirit, but the Bible tells us in nearly three hundred different places that God has commanded His Angels to watch over us. Although we may not be able to see them with our human eyes, angels are living and present. They provide support and assist us in our everyday lives. “Believers, look up – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think. For after all (as we have already noted), ‘God has given His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Psalm 91:11-12).

Evelen

THE FIERY FURNACE

In Daniel chapter 3, we read about King Nebuchadnezzar who made a golden image and set it up in the province of Babylon. He commanded all the people from different nations and languages, as soon as they heard the sound of music going through the land, to bow down and worship the golden statue. Now there were three Jews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who refused to bow down before the Statue or serve any other god apart from the one true God. When the king heard of this he was filled with rage and fury.

He commanded the three men to be brought before him. He tells them “if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” (Daniel 3:15 NKJ). ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego 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 image which you have set up.”’ (Daniel 3:16-18 NKJ). How great is this faith? To not only obey the commands of God rather than the commands of man, but also trusting in God no matter what He chooses to do with our lives.

Dear reader, perhaps your fiery furnace is a sickness, financial difficulties or circumstances that are beyond your control and seem impossible to handle. Perhaps this world is cheering you on to bow down to the things that take your eyes away from God. Keep this in mind, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NKJ). Perhaps you desire something and have been pleading with God to grant you your wish.

Learn to say – If God does not heal me from this sickness, I will not bow down to the statue. If God does not save me from my financial difficulties, I will not bow down to the statue. If God does not give me the thing which I’ve been longing for, I will not bow down to the statue. No matter how much this world tries to tempt me and lure me in to its temporary pleasures, I WILL NOT BOW DOWN. I will trust that His ways are always higher and His plans are always good no matter the sacrifice. ‘But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him’ (Luke 12:15).

‘Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valour who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God’ (Daniel 3:19-25).

Perhaps God will not save you from the fiery furnace, but He will give you the strength to get through it – and He will be there with you in the midst of your trials. So ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and He shall direct your paths’ (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJ). Perhaps sometimes you are fearful that God’s plans for your life may not be aligned with what you desire or choose for yourself. Remember that God is the one who sees the future and He knows what will truly be good for you.

Sometimes you may fervently pray about certain desires, but God tells you no. This ought to not discourage you but rather fill your heart with many thanks that your Father is protecting you and knows what you truly need! ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28 NKJ). Remember that as soon as the devil can see that you will not bow down, he will turn the heat up. But take heart, ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world’ (1 John 5:4 NKJ).

Believe that God can save you from your difficult circumstances, but have that faith that is persuaded of the one whom it believes in no matter the outcome. Know who the object of your faith is – the one who sees and knows all things –the one who has your best interest at heart. The devil seeks to hurt and destroy, saying – ‘God doesn’t love you nor does He want to bless you. Look at your circumstances; look at the troubles you are facing’. But we know that the devil is the king of lies and wants us to look to our problems rather than keeping our eyes on Jesus.

As long as we look to ourselves and look around us, we will see nothing but failure, uncertainty and shame that causes us to be discouraged or fearful. But we should rather look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12:2). Remember that trials and hardships produce perseverance; therefore these circumstances grow our faith and we often come out of the trial stronger than we were before. God is often glorified through the fiery furnaces in life. It takes trials for God to purify us and to set our eyes on Him so that we are fully dependent on Him alone. God does not put us through hardships because he wants to hurt us, but rather because he wants to work in us and through us so that He may be glorified.
‘Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon’ (Daniel 3:28-30).

‘The Lord will honour those who honour Him’ (1st Samuel 2:30). We pray for God to strengthen our faith, but sometimes our faith is strengthened through the fire itself. May we learn from the faith that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had, and say- Lord, even if you do not save me from the fiery furnace, I will not turn away from you, I will not give in to the pressures of this world, I will not bow down- but i will trust in your perfect will for my life. Just as gold is purified by fire, trust that once you come out of the furnace, you will be refined through the flames and your faith will be made stronger.

Evelen