I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. Freshman year of college I took all my pre-requisite classes for nursing school and applied to be accepted into the college of nursing. I applied knowing there was nothing else I could have done to succeed. Fast forward to the day I was supposed to find out if I was accepted. I remember I was driving when I got a notification that said, "Please read the following email from the College of Nursing." I immediately had a pit in my stomach. I had been denied from nursing school. I had worked so hard, trusted God, and prayed for so long to be accepted.
Have you ever doubted the Lord's goodness? At that moment I was doubting. I did not understand why I would be denied something that I had worked so hard for. The truth is, even though I did not feel it at that moment, the Lord's goodness and mercy were following me in that instant and have always been following me (Psalm 23:6). While this story has a happy ending as I ended up getting accepted into nursing school the following semester, I know some of you are facing situations that you feel will never get better or much less have a happy ending.
Let me encourage you with this verse. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." When I read these verses, I am relieved that the Lord has better plans than I do. As Christians, we are called to trust God in every aspect of our lives. If you are facing something that feels bigger than our God, let me encourage you that there is nothing that takes God by surprise. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
As Christians, we are not promised to never face troubles. We are actually guaranteed to face hardships. However, Jesus gives us a promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In Isaiah 43:2 it says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." It is easy to read this verse and not take it literally but let me remind you of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men were literally thrown into a fire to be set ablaze. Let's go to Daniel 3:16-28, where this story takes place.
These men stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar and would not bow down to him because he was not the one true God. As a result, he cast them into a fiery furnace to be put to death for their stance for Jesus. This is where the story gets good, so lean in. After they were thrown into the fire and were not burned the King stood up and was astonished as he saw four men, not three. Verse 25 states, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the fourth is like the Son of God." Not only was God with them as he promises to be in Isaiah 43, but they were not even touched by the fire. No harm had come to them because of trusting God and putting their faith in the one true King. Jesus was literally in the fire with them, and they were not set ablaze. That is how powerful our God is.
Let me remind you, Christian, that the same God that stood with these three men in the literal fire, is standing with you today. He is not just a God of the past, but a God of the present and future. I encourage you to preach this story to your doubt today. God can do immeasurably more than we could ever think or ask. When I look back on my life and the hard seasons I have had to go through I am reminded of how faithful the Lord has been to me. I am so glad that regardless of how I feel whether that be doubting the Lord's goodness or his plan for me, that the Lord never changes. To the Christian that is facing the hardest season that they have known; I encourage you not to doubt the Lord's goodness, but to put His truth over your feelings.