Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight”
Where are my girls at that feel under pressure right now? Are you facing an intense, scary situation? Maybe you would say this place in your life genuinely stinks. Well I’m really glad you’re listening this morning, because I have an escape plan for you! You want to get out of this … today you’ll learn how!
Sometimes we find ourselves in times of turmoil, chaos and conflict and we wonder why. Why is this happening to me? Why is life falling apart? Why am I under attack? Well, you are not alone. This morning I will share 3 stories in the bible of good people in ridiculously hard times and how they escaped.
First – It’s HOT.
The story of 3 young guys with funky names, Shadraq, Meshack and Abendigo are told in the book of Daniel chapter 3. These guys were bold. They refused to worship the king’s idol and were thrown into a fiery furnace. When the king looked in the furnace to his shock he saw not only these 3 young men walking through the fire, but a fourth in the fire with them. God was walking right along side them. He was with the the whole time. And they survived. I guess you could say things got real HEATED for Sadrach Meschac and Abendigo. But because of their fiery furnace encounter, we still know their story today.
What did they do? They trusted God. In the middle of the fire. When it was unfair. When they were right and the king was wrong and they were punished anyway. They kept trusting God. Our God is the God over the fire in your life. What are you going through right now that threatens to destroy you? God is right beside you, walking with you. All you must do is trust him.
(Hillsong – “Another in the Fire” – there is another in the fire, standing next to me)
Second – It’s Scary.
This is the story of Daniel in the book of Daniel chapter 6. Daniel was a good man and he was doing everything right, but a few people got jealous of his success and threw him under the bus, or in this situation, in the lion’s den. Anyone feeling betrayed right now? Feeling talked about? Anyone feeling unfairly attacked? Anyone in a scary situation and you don’t know how you’re going to get out of it?
We can learn a lot from Daniel in the Lion’s Den. The image I used to see as a little girl in my parent’s big bible is still engraved in my mind. The image of a man in a maroon colored robe, bravely standing with his back against a dozen hungry lions in a dark pit, looking up toward the sunlight. Scripture says an angel of the Lord had sealed their mouths shut.
I want you to imagine for a moment this scene. Maybe you don’t have to imagine too much because right now you’re almost living it out in your own life. Danger is all around you. And somehow you’re surviving. God has made a way when there seems to be no way. Somehow you can find peace even in the pit because all you have to do is TRUST God. You don’t have to fight the lions. You don’t have to defend yourself. You don’t have to curse those attacking you. You turn your back on those attacks and you turn your face to the son Jesus and you can stand with confidence knowing God is defending you. Someone needs to cry out to God and ask him to seal the lips of your attackers.
And third – This Stinks.
Lucky Jonah, he’s not in a fiery furnace, nor is he in a pit of lions, but Jonah finds himself in a really stinky situation, in the stomach of a whale. Oh Jonah, how did you end up here? Well unlike the 2 previous stories, Jonah brought his stinky situation upon himself. Sometimes we do the same. Maybe there’s no one to blame but you. So now what do you do?
God had told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach. But the people of Ninevah were brutal and Jonah straight up didn’t want to go there. He was scared. He didn’t feel equipped or good enough to speak to them. So he ran.
What happens when we run from God? Well he gets our attention. And sometimes we run so hard and so fast he has to knock us all the way to our knees before we stop running. Jonah was like that. Where are you going to run when a whale swallows you and you’re stuck in his stomach. Now that’s a stinky situation. And it was right there in that stinky situation that God saved him and set him on the right path.
And it’s right here in your stinky situation that God wants to do the same for you. What do you need to do? Just TRUST him.
That’s your escape plan. This is how you escape the fiery furnace, the lion’s den and the stomach of the whale. You just trust him. This is what you do when you’ve done nothing to deserve the situation you’re in, or when it’s all your own fault, you trust him. Trust that God sees you and he is moving for you. Trust that he will use everything concerning you for good. Trust that he will do what you can’t do. Trust that he’s a good, good father, and you’re his beloved daughter that he just can’t take his eye off of.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight”
You’re trying to understand this situation that’s either too hot, too scary or too stinky in your life and God says, hey don’t even try to understand this on your own. Just get out of your own head and trust him. Acknowledge everything he has ever done in your life and trust he’s still working now. He is making all the twists and turns lead straight to somewhere good.