And as I've been pondering this for the last week, the Lord has reminded me of several stories in His Word.
Real-life stories of people who, in the natural, had every reason to be discouraged.
People who, although they were doing the things the Lord purposed them to do, encountered circumstances that, without knowing the full story, could have looked not only discouraging, but down right scary!
Daniel, for example, as he was being tossed into the den of lions!
In the natural, he had reason to be discouraged. Cultivating his relationship with God each day. Being obedient. Remaining faithful to Him. And what did he get? Thrown to the lions!
And how about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?
In the natural, they had reason to be discouraged! Staying true to the One True God. Refusing to bow and worship an idol. And what did they get? Thrown into a furnace!
And as I've thought on these stories, I've thought:
How would I feel? What would I be thinking, the moments before. The moments before I was thrown to lions or tossed into a furnace?
You see, the more time I spend with the Lord, the more He reveals His love to me. The more He reveals His truth to me. And the more He reminds me that the stories in His Word, are the stories of real people.
Real people, with real emotions.
Sure, I know now, because I have the benefit of the whole story, that an angel of the Lord shut the lions' mouths. That Daniel was not only saved, but prospered. And that the entire nation was turned toward the One True God.
And I know now, again because I have read the end of the story, that the Son of God Himself showed up in the furnace. That not one hair on any of their heads was even singed. That Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were actually promoted in the kingdom. And that the entire nation revered the One True God.
But in the moments before, did they know what would happen?
Did they know, for sure, how it would all turn out?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in
their moments before, said to the King:
...we know our God will rescue us from your power...but even if He doesn't...
And I think about my own life. And yours.
What is it that you or I are going through right now, that in the natural, seems to be reason for discouragement?
And then I think about these people in the Bible again.
Real people. Real people, who could have gotten discouraged. Who could have given up. Who, in the natural, could have had every reason to say:
What in the world, God? And questioned His faithfulness. Or questioned His love.
But, they didn't. They didn't.
Instead, they stayed the course. And their lives, their circumstances, became an amazing, spectacular, gargantuan testimony that people still know, still talk about, still learn from today!
I don't know about you, but I want my life to leave that kind of legacy! The kind that when people look back on my life, 50-100-1,000 years in the future, they say:
I want that kind of faith. The kind of faith that stays the course. The kind of faith that keeps going. The kind of faith that says yes to God. No matter what happens. No matter what it looks like!
I pray that this would be your desire as well!
can be ones that people look back on and say:
I want their kind of faith!