To the “Christian” of blunted intelligence, faithfulness is boring.
It is, however, the key to breakthrough. The best surprises are the ones God gives. You’re going along, attending church faithfully, tithing faithfully, struggling but trying to stay consistent. At some times, it seems even mechanical, dead. You don’t feel it anymore.
The temptation is to give up. It seems that all is for naught. You think you’re just wasting your time. Then, boom!, God drops a huge blessing into your life, and the romance with God is fresh again!
One of the most overlooked characteristics of God is His love for surprise. I’ve never seen it an a theology book, but it’s in Genesis 2:9. He warned Adam and Eve against the tree of sin. But He said nothing about the tree of life, which also was in the Garden of Eden. It was going to be a surprise. Regrettably, our father and our mother never discovered this pleasant surprise because they wanted more by their own devices. They ate the forbidden fruit, believing it contained blessing. They wanted more; they got less.
Hang in there for God’s surprises.
The same multitude that hailed King Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem — in a matter of days, shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And that scares me. I see myself in that crowd.
You see, it’s not all their fault. They were let down. They were disappointed. Here they went through all this effort, waving palm branches, throwing their garments on the ground, shouting “Hail the king!” — and that was dangerous! (Because it made them known enemies to the Roman authorities.)
They fully expected Jesus to throw off the hated gentile empire and inaugurate a new age of David’s throne. No doubt hundreds of people were waiting His bidding. So what did Jesus do?
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. — Mark 11:11 NIV.
Are you serious? Is that it? Here, we go out on a limb to make you king, and all you do is “look around” and go back to hanging out? Talk about disappointment. They were probably not only disappointed but also embarrassed and furious.
Well, the disciples had the same expectations and the same disappointments. They didn’t turn on Jesus (except Judas). They remained faithful until they saw the resurrection.
When you go through disappointments, you can’t give up. You can’t turn against God. You have to remain faithful, even when you don’t know what’s going on.
from Steamboat Friday
Nebuchadnezzar wanted them really dead. So he heated up the executioner’s furnace seven times the normal heat. Even the guards who threw in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego died. Talk about… mmm, overkill.
Even so, those three Jews, guilty of not bowing to the king’s idol, didn’t flinch. With great impending disaster bearing down upon them, they stayed faithful. They would only pray and believe in God. They wouldn’t do lip service to appease the wrathful king.
In the end, constancy won. 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, O king.” 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.” — Dan. 3:24-25 NIV.
from British Columbia ROCKS
After that, the three Jews walked free. Good ole Neb learned not to mess with the One True God. And a decree was issued giving testimony throughout his empire. It pays to remain steadfast, to remain unbowed before the world’s idols despite intense pressure.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged Bible, Daniel, Faith, faithfulness, fiery furnace, God, grace under pressure, inspiration, Jesus, life, lifestyle, Nabuchadnezzar, pain, resilience, Shadrach, threats, trials