Monday, July 6, 2009

"Everyday's a good day. . ."

At the convalescent center where we do chapel services each Sunday, there is a sweet lady who invariably will say at some point in the service, "Everyday is a good day. . .", then pauses before she finishes her sentence, ". . .when you know the Lord."

This dear lady has been in a wheelchair for as long as we have known her. She doesn't always remember our names. On some Sundays she doesn't seem to remember that she has been in that chapel before, because she will mention with a voice of surprise, "Isn't this a beautiful chapel!" But she knows this, if you know the Lord, He will be faithful in your life and "everyday is good."

My glance happened to fall upon this verse the other day,

"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. " 2 Timothy 4:17

Here Paul is discussing how Alexander the coppersmith had done him "much evil". It is clear from the context of the chapter that this situation had been very hurtful to Paul and possibly to his reputation. At first no one stood with him. "Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me..."

Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego (or as they were known by their mommas, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were treated badly by someone else. They had stood up to a king and were being thrown in a furnace for their faith in the Lord. But the furnace didn't burn them, it didn't singe their hair or cast on them the smell of smoke. And they weren't there alone. Notwithstanding... "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. " Daniel 3:25

Are you in a furnace today? Are you in a place were someone is doing you "much evil"? Do you feel alone? The heat of the fire is not there to harm you, but rather to refine you as gold, as the old hymn speaks:

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"

Never fear that you are going to the place of refinement alone. Never believe for a moment that you face the trials without the One who is called the "Man of Sorrows".

He is that One in the fire with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He is the One standing by Paul and strengthening him, and He is standing by you.

He is in you and you in Him if you have believed in Him as Savior and Lord, and never again will you be alone. Never again will you face a trial without His strength, His power and His quickening.

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather
glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me. "
2Corinthians 12:9

(Dedicated to Mrs. McCaskey, who never fails to make me smile.)

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