Tag: Abednego

In the midst of it all…

George Whittenby George Whitten

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

When Daniel was in the midst of the lion’s den…God was with him. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them. It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials. God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them.

Trials and difficulties are simply a part of life and quite honestly, the longer I walk with the Lord the bigger these trials become. But how do we react when our faith is challenged by these adversities? James 1:2 says to count it all joy! What could possibly be joyful about difficult situations? Painful, yes…but joy??

Yet, somehow, I do find joy in knowing, and even sensing that God is with me in the midst of my problems — in the midst of my trials. He did promise never to leave or forsake me; and as I look over my life, I find it to be absolutely true…no matter what crazy situation I’m in, God is with me.

We all have this decision: either to complain because of the trials we’re enduring…or to prayerfully lift our souls before him (Psalm 25:1) …and rejoice in the midst of our troubles — knowing, believing, and even feeling, that God is with us, now…always…all the way!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

 

Having a Faith That Responds

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

True faith goes beyond assurance to action.

When the writer said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, he used two parallel and almost identical phrases to define faith.

We’ve seen that faith is the assurance that all God’s promises will come to pass in His time. “The conviction of things not seen” takes the same truth a step further by implying a response to what we believe and are assured of.

James addressed the issue this way: “Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’. . . But are you willing to recognize . . . that faith without works is useless? . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 26). In other words, a non-responsive faith is no faith at all.

Noah had a responsive faith. He had never seen rain because rain didn’t exist prior to the Flood. Perhaps he knew nothing about building a ship. Still, he followed God’s instructions and endured 120 years of hard work and ridicule because he believed God was telling the truth. His work was a testimony to that belief.

Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Messiah wouldn’t come to earth for another 1,400 years, but Moses forsook the wealth and benefits of Egypt to pursue the messianic hope.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when faced with a life- threatening choice, chose to act on their faith in God, whom they couldn’t see, rather than bow to Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see all too well (Dan. 3). Even if it meant physical death, they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.

I pray that the choices you make today will show you are a person of strong faith and convictions.

by John MacArthur