Don't Be Afraid! Only Believe!
Mark 5:35-36 (NKJV) While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Are you sensing a turn in the tide? It actually started a few years ago with the fear of Covid, empty shelves, division and lock downs. Life as we knew it changed. Uncertainty and fear of not only sickness, but financial devastation began haunting many worldwide. Now, as war has broken out in Israel the threat of a global war brings impending doom. Open borders and riots reveal that we cannot depend upon the security we once believed our country offered... As I read my Bible, I realize this scenario is nothing new for our God. In Daniel I'm reminded of 4 noble men who were captured... taken away from what's familiar and forced to serve a foreign king. As if this wasn't difficult enough, 3 of them were persecuted for not bowing to an idol. One of the most horrific displays of cruelty is then inflicted upon them. They are condemned to be thrown into a furnace... fully clothed... burned alive... they faced this sentence with complete faith in a God they personally knew would never allow such atrocity to happen, but even if He did, they refused to worship any other God! You know how it turns out, the Son of God entered the fire with them, and they came out not even smelling of smoke! God could have put out the fire or changed the mind of Nebuchadnezzar, but that would not have displayed His power and love in such an amazing way! And think of the testimony Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had! The fourth man? By praying to God, he broke a law he could never honor. He was ordered to pray only to the king for 30 days. The penalty for disobedience? To be thrown into a den of hungry lions. Daniel, just as his friends, would not put man's decrees above His God's. So, how did that one turn out? God sends an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and he came out without a scratch on him. I can only imagine his exuberant worship as he sat waiting for those doors to open. This is just two of so many accounts of God's people being faced with unimaginable situations, yet they confronted them with complete trust in the God they had a relationship with... they knew their God and believed that He would deliver them. The gravity of the situation had no bearing on the results! Easy or difficult, God is always in control... let me correct that... we must first give Him control, then trust Him with the outcome! A cool side note... after the testing they were each incredibly promoted into positions of leadership and prominence but the best part... It caused the accusers to realize just how fearful, wonderful, and powerful their God was and word of it spread throughout the land! Hmmm... Isn't that what this country and our world needs to see? A people who have the audacity to have faith in God at all cost, then seeing His power manifested in miraculous ways! Take time to get to know the God you serve. He desires to turn the most difficult circumstances into amazing testimonies and a new awareness of His incredible power and love. He wants to reveal it to you and the world around you! Difficulties? Nah... just new opportunities for God to show His stuff! This is an exciting season that we get to see His hand at work in a new and amazing way! And we are being given plenty of opportunities to share the hope and peace that's within us even in the midst of perilous times! Don't be afraid, only believe! 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:22-25 (NKJV) Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king. “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 6:10 (NLT) But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:19-23 (NLT) Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.