(Photo by Selma Komisky)
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Let’s just face it. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. It has its ups and downs for everyone, even Christians. But as Christians, we are called to be living a life that is so different from this world and that is glorifying to Christ, that it will make people stop and think, “What is the source of their hope and joy?” And by doing this, you are able to share Jesus with others! And it isn’t just about being different in the times where it’s easy to be, but there is just something about the way in how we remain steadfast in Christ in the mix of trials that just shocks the world. And yes, since we are only humans, that isn’t the easiest thing to do. But Philippians 4:13 says, “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am” (MSG). I just love how the Message Bible says it – because we have Jesus, we can overcome anything! Any temptation, any struggle, any trial, any addiction, any fear, anything! In our own strength we can’t, but Jesus gives us the strength that we need to overcome. When it seems like the struggle is too much to bear, God promises us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (NIV). Amazing, isn’t it?
There are two stories in the Bible that come to my mind of people who remained faithful to God when being tempted to compromise. In Daniel 6, King Darius is convinced by his administrators that he should make a decree which states that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to King Darius himself, shall be thrown into the lion’s den. But there was a man named Daniel who didn’t let that decree stop him from praying to the one true God! The reason why he didn’t stop wasn’t because he was trying to rebel against the king, for he was greatly favored by him. The reason was because he wasn’t ashamed of God! Daniel 6:10 says, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (NIV).Now that is being set apart with Christ! And because he trusted God, he wasn’t even harmed by the lions when he was thrown into the lion’s den! In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar commands all of the people of the nations to bow down and worship this golden image that he had made. If they did not, they were to be thrown into a fiery furnace. But like the last story, God uses this for good! Instead of compromising in the face of death, three young men decided not to bow down and worship the idol, henceforth, being thrown into the furnace. This made the king so angry, that he had the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God could deliver them from the fire, but even if He didn’t they still wouldn’t compromise. As they were in the furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth figure in the fire with them! God had rescued them from the fire. When the king called them out of the furnace, they didn’t even smell like smoke! Just take one second to praise Jesus for that! The two things in common with these stories is that both of these kings praised God after seeing the power of our mighty King!
I don’t know what fires you all are going through, or what lion’s den you may be stuck in, but what I do know, is that God will never allow you to walk alone! He is with you in every stage of life! Sometimes, we don’t understand why bad things happen to us or how the Lord is using a trial, but the Lord promises that He works all things together for good! And maybe the reason for why you are going through a fire is so that someone else will be encouraged! Whether you have lost a loved one, lost your job, or being persecuted in some way for your faith, I encourage you to stay strong in the Lord! Just as how Job in the Bible lost everything and still continued to praise God, we are to do the same thing! I truly believe that the best way to be different in Christ is by praising God in the middle of the storm! So don’t give up, be an overcomer, and most importantly, remember, you’ll never walk alone.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV).