I had the joy of guest posting for my friend Bella yesterday at her blog, Worth it All.
What if the fiercest point of intensity during a trial proves the sweetest place—the only true place—to experience the nearness of God’s presence?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew their God in the furnace flames. Their circumstances burned and raged, but they were safely sustained, unharmed, by His presence with them in the valley of the shadow of death (see Daniel 3, Psalm 23:4).
They came through that blazing fire completely untouched when survival was deemed absolutely impossible.
They didn’t smell of smoke; they weren’t singed, but oh, they must have shined at having been with Him (v. 27).
God is a God who performs miraculous impossibilities. Nothing is ever too hard for Him. He breathes hope when our hope exhales its last and dies (Luke 1:37; Jer 32:27).
Mining for gold
I’ve always dreaded hardship; most people do.
When trials surface, a lie from Satan is quick to slither through my mind:
This difficulty must go away for me to be happy again.
The truth is, invaluable lessons about God’s character and His Word are nuggets of gold that must be mined in the deep bedrock of hardship. Blood, sweat, and tears—repenting of sin and stretching of our faith—are all necessary to claim the treasure of knowing Him more deeply because it simply doesn’t come by walking a smooth road of ease.
Experiencing affliction in my body and the fears that have surfaced because of it has taught me to cry out for God in a way that would have never, ever been possible had my life been straight and smooth, no bumps, no trying of my faith.
In trials, God’s nearness quells fear
I never thought I would type these words, but after a grueling week of fighting anxiety and scary symptoms from Lyme disease, I can say even trials are a costly gift.
Fear may leap as a fiery flame to lick at us, but it cannot consume because He’s there, His love driving out everything else that’s thieving ugly at our peace and joy…
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior… -Isaiah 43:2-3a
(To continue reading this article, visit Bella’s blog here).