Doing Life Together

ID-100305411How strong is your faith when it comes to facing a crisis or difficulty? What if you suffer a life event that doesn’t go your way? Do you give up on God?

Renee and her husband confronted this. Their child was very ill. So many were praying, yet the child eventually died. How could God allow this? How can a good God not intervene in such brokenness and pain in our world?

In Daniel 3, three young men had to face that reality. Circumstances did not look good. They were about to be thrown into a fiery furnace for standing firm in their faith. They faced death if they didn’t back down on what they believed.

Christians all over the world face this crisis of faith on a regular basis. Here in America, standing for God might not mean death, but certainly might bring incredible discomfort, maybe a job loss because you won’t compromise who you are, or maybe family trouble or unpopularity in school  for standing firm on your beliefs.

What is so striking about those three young men in the Bible story is what they said to the King who was about to put them to death– God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, but if he does not…we will not bow down to your idols.

What a bold proclamation, YES God can, but if he doesn’t, our faith and stance will not be shaken. This is the true test of the Christian faith.

Take disease and health issues as an example. Sometimes God delivers us from a terrible disease, other times, he walks us through the treatment and struggle, and still other times, we meet him in eternity. Whatever the outcome, can we say, “My God will deliver me, but if he doesn’t, I will still serve Him and believe?”

I am personally challenged by these 3 men in the Bible. While their story has a good ending, they were prepared for a bad one. Can we say the same?

So let’s go back to my original question. “How can a good God not intervene in such brokenness and pain in our world.”

Actually He already did. He entered this world though His Son Jesus who took our pain. We are told, -surely he bears our griefs and sorrows and is acquainted with our grief. This Jesus holds the power –He has been though your fiery furnace and is with you in the fire. He doesn’t abandon us in suffering.

His promise is to be with us and to one day eradicate all pain and suffering. In the meantime, we trust God despite how it looks.

I’m not saying this is easy because this means there is suffering. But in the process, remember, God has not left us alone in our distress. His peace, comfort and continuous presence gets us through the suffering on our broken planet. One day, if we hold fast, we will be with Him and all our pain will be gone. Until then, be of good courage and remember those young men who stood firm in the face of suffering.

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