It is normal for you to have tribulations (afflictions, persecution, sufferings, pains; trials, etc). You should expect them.
- We are of God, but the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19).
- To live a godly life in Christ Jesus, you will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).
- You are appointed to suffer (1 Thes. 3:3).
- You will be hated for the sake of Jesus (Matt. 10:22).
What is abnormal is for tribulations and afflictions to overcome a Christian. But if, in suffering with Jesus, you overcome tribulations and afflictions:
- You will also reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12).
- You will be glorified with Him (Rom. 8:17).
But how do you obtain victory in the midst of tribulations?
The two (2) Bible texts of today, teach us three (3) very important lessons:
- What Satan and the world can do.
- What the faithful must do.
- What God does.
CCC Hymn 908: If the whole world rise against us.
1st Lesson (Daniel 3: 1 – 26).
Three (3) Jews (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) disobeyed the most powerful king in the world (Nebuchadnezzar). They refused to bow down to his idol and preferred to enter into the burning fiery furnace.
What Satan and the world can do.
The motive of Satan and the world always is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) Like a roaring lion he is looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9).
His tactics – He presents:
- Golden attractions (v1)
- Intimidation (v6)
- Accusations (v12)
- Compromise and temptation (v15a)
- Discouragement (v15b)
- Fear (v19; 2 Tim. 1:7)
- Destruction and death (v20; Matt.10:28).
What the Faithful must do.
You must have the following:
- Unwavering conviction of who God is (the Almighty).
- Absolute confidence that God will do what He says He will do.
- Unshakeable faith in the only one who can deliver you from evil.
- Total reliance upon God (Daniel 3:16-18).
These are the assurances we have in God:
- He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1-2).
- They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever (Ps. 125:1-2).
- A thousand will fall at your side…; but it shall not come nigh thee ….(Ps. 91:7-10).
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: for thou art with me; (Ps. 23:4).
- Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; (Is. 8:10).
- Surely, they shall gather together……against thee shall fall for thy sake (Is. 54:15-17).
- Fear not: for I have redeemed thee (Is. 43:1-3).
CCC Hymn 542: God my father oh my Lord.
What God does
- In your trial, you will have a wonderful encounter with the Son of God.
- Nothing belonging to you will be consumed, except your bond.
- The flame will only refine you like gold (Zec.13:9)
- Your enemies shall be dismayed (Dan. 3:24-25).
- Through your miraculous deliverance, they will be shown the reality and existence of your God (Dan. 3:28).
2nd Lesson (Romans 8: 28 – 39).
The 2nd Lesson assures you that everything that happens has been predetermined by God and ultimately forms part of His purpose of which Jesus is the centre (Rom. 8:28)
- If God is for you, who will dare to accuse you (Rom. 8:31).
- The only one who can condemn you is Christ. And He has become your supreme advocate (vv33-34).
- Nothing in this world can separate you from the love of God (Rom. 8:35; John 3:16-17).
- The troubles; hardship; persecution; famine; nakedness; danger; sword only allow you to experience the love of Christ.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Rom. 8:37).
This is the conclusion of the matter:
The most important strength of a true Christian is trust in the Lord. This strength of the Spirit is measured in faithfulness, trust and perseverance (Eph. 6:10-13; 16).
- It is the power of faith that helps to strengthen our confidence in God’s promise.
- It prepares us to stand against and resist the devil (1 Pt. 5:8-9).