How many of you are having trouble? Not just headaches, but “trials” kind of trouble? Sometimes our trouble can change the direction in which we are going and help us to find our way, other times maybe the trouble just causes us to pray a little longer and more earnestly than our normal morning or bed-time prayers, am I right?
In thinking of this I thought of some characters mentioned in the Bible from whom we could learn a lesson. First there is Noah in a time when 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 for building that giant Ark in his yard, and for what? Rain? Never even heard of it! Yet he followed the plan God gave to him, perfectly in 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 but he could not, God had shut the door of that floating zoo, they had waited too late. When Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood up for their faith in the Almighty God, they were fed to 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 the King investigated and found him alive, he threw the guards and their families into the den and the lions caught them before they hit the ground and had a great feast!
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 guards 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 forth 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 who had been kidnapped and taken to Persia, modern day Iran. God can also use roadblocks to turn us toward the right direction, as He literally did for Jonah. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, which was about 500 miles from where he was. Because he was terrified to take the message God gave to him for those people he got on a ship headed to Tarshish, 2500 miles away in the opposite direction! Long story short, God sent a storm, 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 vomited 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? Obedience brings deliverance!