Fiery Furnace (continued)
The only way we are going to have a message that can help others in their "fiery furnace" is to be in one ourselves and to come out without having our hair singed and without having even the smell of fire on us. We can have wonderful victory in the 'fiery furnace" where we are. Do we want to experience our Lord Jesus Christ as our all in all? It may have to be in the fiery furnace.
God could have kept Paul and Silas out of prison (Acts 16:22-34). He could also have kept them from having their feet fastened in the stocks. They could not sleep in that prison, but they could sing. When they sang, the message was given forth in power, and they were able to lead the jailer and all his household to trust Christ. We want to win souls. "Yes, Lord, but don't make us have a prison experience in order to win one! We do not want o do it that way." So we do not win many souls to the Lord Jesus Christ because we are not having that prison experience.
Never ask "Why?" but "What?" A dear Finnish woman helped teach me this lesson. We were going from Turku, Finland, to Helsinki, and this dear woman lived halfway between. She got on the train to go to the meetings that were to be held in Helsinki. As she entered our compartment, we looked upon a person with an absolutely radiant face. But when I looked at what should have been her right hand, there was no right hand. There was nothing but a hideous looking steel hook! We entered into a conversation with her and learned that she had been a missionary in India. She had developed lung trouble, and the doctors had sent her home to die.
But this woman did not die at the doctros' "orders." When she got back to Finland, she bought a farm and worked on it. One day when she was running the threshing machine, she had an accident in which she lost her right hand. Friends took her to a hospital. She entered it singing hymns and praising God in spite of her bleeding arm. The doctors and nurses said they had never seen anyone enter that hospital as she did, singing and praising God.
As she talked with us, she could not help but see that we noticed the steel hook she now used for a hand. With it she carried a big suitcase filled with clothes for children in Germany. She carried her own packages with her good hand. Her face shining with His own radiance, she said, "When that hand was cut off, I immediately looked up to my Lord and said, "Lord, not why but what do you want me to do now that my right hand is gone?" "Not "Why?" but "What?"
It was worth going to Finland to hear that message from the lips of God's servant. God let her make that farm a spiritual rest home. People went there for physical and spiritual rest, and they were taught the Word of God. God used her as perhaps He never could have used her before. It is not a matter of "why" but "what" in whatever circumstances you and I are placed.
Why is this God's purpose? I believe that God has only one objective in our lives in the present and only one goal for us in the future. His objective for this present life is for Christ to be glorified in and through our lives. The prayer of His Son, just before He went to the Cross, was that He might be glorified in that little group of men (John 17:9-26). That is also the objective of the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of each believer. The future goal is for us to be glorified in Him. Think of the wonder of it! Someday we are going to be like the Son who is now at the right hand of His Father.
(continued with # 5)