God’s favour for his people on the fire – Part 2
The burning bush that Moses saw, and which was used by God to attract his attention, was not consumed because God was in the bush. It was a symbolism of God’s presence in the midst of the Israeli population in Egypt. And because of the presence of the divine personality among the Israelites, the fire of persecution, affliction, oppression and satanic difficulty could not consume them.
The testimonies of others are encouragement that the fire burning around you or your family will soon give way, as it happened to those who have gone before us. Though there are persecutions, afflictions and difficulties in the world, the Almighty God will bring you “out into a wealthy place.” The time of trouble is the time to get nearer to the Lord and renew our commitment, consecration and vow to Him, as did Paul, who had the spirit of the conqueror.
The fire of persecution, affliction, perplexity and difficulties may burn, but God’s people are neither consumed nor weakened, because of the daily renewal of their inner man. The fire of the world cannot destroy genuine faith, nor can it fight against God and win. But the believer must be watchful not to offend, so that the ministry will not be blamed. Discouragement often sets in, when people focus on the fire and not on the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is difficult to understand the suffering of the righteous, but the apostle Peter encourages continuity in righteous living. Look away from the fire and look up to God. “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Our responsibilities during persecution and difficulties include: (i) prayer and pledge to continue to serve the Lord, (ii) peace and purity, (iii) patience and perseverance, (iv) purging and pruning, (v) purpose and passion, (vi) praise and power, (vii) progress and preservation.
The Lord is faithful in protecting His people. In spite of sore afflictions, persecutions and troubles, God’s people always prevail. The Israelites and the early Church prevailed. Our testimony as a church and as individuals that have been through persecution and fiery trials is, “it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
The Lord’s faithfulness will continue to be real in the believer’s life, as it was in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol in Babylon. As they stood for God, they overcame. Their persecutor’s fire could not consume them in the fiery furnace. Rather, only the men that threw them into it were consumed by the fire. The fire of affliction will not consume you. Like Nebuchadnezzar saw the three Hebrew children in the fire unhurt, your persecutors and adversaries will see that God is with you and you are unconquerable.
Further Reading (King James Version): Exodus 3:2; Acts 7:30-32; Deuteronomy 4:20; Exodus 3:3,4; Psalm 33:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 26:17-19; Isaiah 43:2; Luke 1:70-75; 2 Peter 1:3,4; Psalm 97:10-12; Exodus 3:2-4; Psalm 66:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:7-11,16-18; 6:1-10; 1 Peter 4:12-16,19; 5:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:18; Exodus 3:2; Psalm 129:1,2; Lamentations 3:19-23; Daniel 3:19-25.
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