‘… the God we serve is able to save us … and he will rescue us … But even if he does not …’Daniel 3: 17–18
Daniel, threatened with death, firmly believed in God’s ability to save, and he and his friends later stepped unscathed from the burning fiery furnace. Yet John the Baptist, jailed for his faithfulness to God, was not freed, but decapitated. The Lord Jesus, when arrested, knew that his Father could release him if he so willed, and told Pilate so (John 19: 11) but was still cruelly put to death. Persecution and martyrdom are both experienced by some faithful Christians today, whilst others tell inspiring stories of deliverance. Is God selective in his interventions, or no longer to be trusted? Our own daily lives can go through times of difficulty or even danger. Sometimes we share the mystery and misery of prolonged suffering, when prayers seem to go unanswered – or could it be unheard? More often, our trouble is the endless workload, or a sense of carrying the burden alone. We long for deliverance, but the furnace only seems to get hotter. Like Elijah, we feel like saying, ‘I have had enough, Lord.’ (1 Kings 19: 4) God may be able, but seems so strangely inactive. Elijah felt like this, but was able to get up and go on after a good sleep and a couple of meals. His depression finally lifted when he tuned in to God’s gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19: 12–13) Our God does hear us and his voice still speaks, amplified by his Spirit as we reflect on his written word. As with Elijah, there may be practical steps which would relieve the tension. Then, clinging to his promises, and exercising trust that his way is perfect, we begin to realise that stress can be strengthening. In fact, it can become a spiritual growth point.
Written by Janet Goodall from the UK« Previous Day Today Next Day »