How many of you, my readers, are having trouble? Not just headaches, but “trials” kind of trouble? Sometimes our trouble can turn the direction we are going in and help us to find our way, and other times it just shows our obedience and causes us to pray a little longer and more seriously than our normal bed time and morning prayers, right? As I was thinking of this, I thought about some characters in the Bible from whom we could learn a lesson.
First there is Noah. Now the world was in chaos! Genesis 6:5-8 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” I imagine there were times that the “grace” didn’t feel so good; people were making fun of him, building that giant Ark in his yard, and for what? RAIN? Never even heard of it! Yet he followed God’s plan perfectly, every detail. The ridicule stopped when the rain started and the waters began to rise. People were pounding on the sides of that great ship begging him to open the door for them. He could not; God had shut the door of that floating zoo of both animals and people.
When Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood up for their faith in the Almighty God, they were fed to the lions and put in the furnace, but on both occasions God intervened. When Daniel was thrown into the den of hungry lions, God sent an angel to shut their mouths for the whole night. In the morning when he investigated and found him alive, he threw the guards and their families into the den and they were caught mid-air and became a feast for the beasts. Then when the “Three Hebrew Children” were tossed into the furnace, which had been heated seven times hotter than usual, the heat coming from that oven actually killed the men that put them there, but the Angel of the Lord was there and they came out smelling like roses instead of fire and smoke! When the King looked in on them he said, “Did we not cast three men into the fire? I see four men walking around in there unharmed, and the form of the fourth man is like unto the Son of God!” I would say their faithfulness in the time of ridicule, their willingness to stand the test of those in authority, demanding they give up their belief in God, paid off for them!
Obedience saved Noah with his family, and these young men that had been kidnapped and taken to Persia, modern-day Iran. God can also use roadblocks to turn us in the right direction, look at Jonah.
God told him to go to Nineveh, about 500 miles from where he was, and because he was terrified to take the message God gave him for those people, he got on a ship headed to Tarshish, 2500 miles away! God sent a storm and end of the story; Jonah was tossed overboard and picked up by a great fish! Now that doesn’t sound like a picnic, but if you read chapter 2 of Jonah you see that he repented and the fish gave him a free ride to the shores of Nineveh and then literally threw him up onto the beach, mission accomplished! He delivered his message and the people were spared.
So what is God trying to do with you during this time of your trial? Is He asking for obedience? Is He going to have to send a great fish to take you to your assignment? Think about it and know that obedience brings deliverance!