No problem or difficulty lasts forever but God does. Difficult times can be very disturbing. The book “The Triumphant life: – 31 secrets of winning every spiritual warfare” states that, “everyone faces the perplexities of life at one time or the other, whether they are kings or ordinary people.” I strongly believe that no person is stupid because he is having a difficult time. Everyone has things that bother him or her. I want you to know that God is able to handle whatever you are going through, he is used to challenges.
God is used to challenges from men and problems of every kind. Let us see examples in the scriptures:
“Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’” Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1-2 (KJV)
What do you make of that statement? It was enough to erode the confidence of any person. It was not an empty challenge because that king of Egypt challenged Moses’ assertion that God wanted Israel out of Egypt. It was a long drawn contest that ended this way in Exodus 14:15-28;
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.” (NIV)
There were others like him; one of them was Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Daniel 3:8-18 says,
“At this time some astrologerscame forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV)
He actually carried out his threat. He threw them inside a burning furnace that was seven times hotter than normal. The scripture says, “Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:19-23 (NIV)
Some people would ask, how dare Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, challenge the “mighty king”. Nebuchadnezzar was ruthless; he had no regard for human life and does not care about anyone. He, in this instance, was a bully.
The best way to handle bullies is to challenge them. Many people condone bully hoping that bullies will stop but they don’t. I know because I had been a victim of bullying and I have counselled some victims of bullying (as a Minister of the gospel). Some people would over look it for fear of family, job, religion, reprisal or what have you. Domestic violent is prevalent in many places and had ruined the lives of many vulnerable people. You must speak out. (You must not engage them in physical fight) Report it, even if that is all you can do.
God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar. His fire had no effect on his helpless victims and he suffered the humiliation of being the first person who saw them inside the fire unhurt. Daniel 3:24-25 Says,
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (NIV)
Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den and a stone was rolled upon the tomb where Jesus laid to stop him from rising. Those instruments of cruelty failed to achieve their objectives. God can handle the troubles that come your way.
In most of the cases I cited, God showed up at the time the enemies thought they had succeeded. Those enemies must have mocked, jeered, and taunted their victims and their God but it was not in their power to dictate the ultimate outcome. You need to:
- Stay positive: trust God and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:1-8)
- Confess with your mouth the expected victory and never give it up. let the promises of God be your strength always
- Pray without ceasing. God answers prayer
- Give thanks to God for who he is and for his love to you
- Study the things God had done before; how he delivered those who trusted him; he will do the same for you
- Stay away from bad news; they drain your strength and undermine your confidence and faith
- Resist every fear; trust God to come through for you
God is able to help, deliver and comfort all those who call upon him. He is the Lord and ruler of the universe. He will never leave or forsake you.
Bible quotes: http://www.biblegateway.com
- Three Men Thrive in Blazing Furnace (kittypalmer.wordpress.com)
- Daniel’s Friend’s Are Protected in the Furnace Daniel 3:19-25 (thechristiangazette.wordpress.com)
- Readings for Easter Tuesday (alcplatteville.wordpress.com)
- Saved again … (stacknotes.wordpress.com)