Need to find hope in the midst of trying times?

We all go through trying times, periods when our mettle is tested and our capacities are stretched to the max. We all desire to avoid such periods of stress and possible pain, but it’s a fact of life that they do come. Even the Lord Jesus said that:
It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” (see Luke 17:1)
Knowing that trials and tests are inevitable and are a normal part of life, how do we respond to them? And when these trying times are very difficult and discouraging, how do we find hope to face them confidently and with boldness?

God’s people are tried

The Bible shows us that all of God’s people face trials. All of them faced various trials, and all of them had different responses. Some of it good, some of it bad.

Some of them fell quickly, like Peter denying the Lord Jesus thrice when asked about Him three times. Some of them fell, but not after resisting for a bit, like how Samson eventually bared his secret to Delilah after she wearied him with her words. Some of them overcame the test, like how Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, stood for their faith in God despite being thrown in the fiery furnace.

If we want to overcome any trying times like Daniel’s three friends, we’ve got to have the hope that they have. Let’s look at how they faced the furnace and saw God in it.

Finding hope in the midst of trying times

Daniel 3 gives us the account of the fiery furnace, where the three young Hebrew men were thrown and miraculously delivered. At this time, the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had an image of gold erected in his honor. And as if the gold statue wasn’t enough to satisfy him, he made a decree that people should bow down to it whenever a certain sound was made.

The penalty for not bowing in worship? Death in a fiery furnace.

Since Babylon was a pagan nation with ungodly people, the Godly naturally had some people hating them. Some of these people went to Nebuchadnezzar and accused the three young men of dishonoring him by not bowing to the gold statue or serving his gods.

Nebuchadnezzar called for the three young men who, in their faith in the God of Israel, told him boldly,
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.” (see Daniel 3:16-18)

The king had the three thrown into the furnace, which was heated seven times hotter. Although he and the others expected that the three men would be instantly killed in the fire, they were surprised to see something else:
“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.”

Hope in Christ

So where do we find hope in the midst of trying times? We find hope in our God who promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Think about this: Jesus didn’t manifest in the flesh at this yet, and yet He showed Himself mighty to save these three young men who boldly stood for Him in the face of certain death.

Now, Christ has already died and has already risen from the grave. We find our hope in Him!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

JB Cachila