When I listen to the news, it seems like evil is winning. Leaders of nations are wringing their hands over how to stop the terrorists from gaining more ground and murdering more people. The terrorists think no one can stop them. Kingdoms are clashing!
As Christians we should not be surprised. Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world. We wonder why God does not intervene and stop the terrible bloodshed. Sometimes He does. And then sometimes He doesn’t.
I’m reminded of the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3 who were faced with death in a fiery furnace if they refused to bow down to the image the king had made. The king asked the question, “What god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” They answered, “Our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the the fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king!”
But, even if He does not, we will not worship the image. The king was so incensed he ordered the furnace to be made seven times hotter than normal. They would not bow and they were thrown in the furnace. The fire was so hot it killed the men who threw them in. In the furnace they were not alone. The king noticed a fourth man in there. They were all walking around in there without the fetters. God was with them and they came out without even the smell of smoke on them. Amazing!
Today, many people in places like Iraq and Syria are refusing to give up their faith. Even children have stood firm in the face of death and have been killed by the terrorists. They are victorious in their stand. They look to God for deliverance but even if He does not they will not bow to any other god.
When we think about the mess the world is in we wonder why we can’t all “live and let live?” The people in Iraq and Syria were just living their ordinary lives, when all hell broke loose.Suddenly life as they used to live, was over! There was chaos, confusion and death.,
Where was God? Where is God? I believe He is there, in the midst of their fiery furnace. I don’t pretend to understand why He has not delivered them. One answer comes, Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation BUT be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
If we choose to follow Christ, we are not called to a life of ease, but we are called to bear a cross. The cross is my right to myself, my right to my life. The cross is my will. Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “If anyone wished to follow Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Many people are doing just that, choosing to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost. I pray for them! We may be called to do that too. So far we are living far away from the noise of battle. We don’t know about tomorrow!
Our God is able to deliver and He will deliver – BUT, if He does not, we will not give up our faith, we will follow Jesus, no matter what. He has a better place prepared for those who follow Him. Our sights are set on that.