Monday, January 4, 2010

Finding Courage For a New Year

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner as the Olympic torch begins its tour through providence's of Canada before winding it's way across the border into the United States. There are so many Olympic hopefuls just waiting for a chance to win the gold for their sport for this country of ours.

Yet do you ever stop and wonder just what it takes for these young hopefuls to get this far? Here are the six reasons for their success and why they stand waiting for that opportunity to attempt to win Olympic gold.

1. They all have a dream.

2. They are all fired up about it or are passionate about it.

3. They bounce back when faced with difficulties or challenges.

4. They aim high.

5. The plan for trouble.

6. They never quit.

If you take all of these under considerations, you will understand just how each of those individuals got where they stand today. They have come so far through so much and never looked back and just through their arms in the air and said, "No thanks, it's too much for me!"

There are men and women in this world that will stand up for what is right instead of compromising or giving in. These are God's Olympic hopefuls.

Yet in the world today, there is growing concern to prohibit the spread of Christianity to the world while asking each and every one of us to grow more tolerant to things that we should not regarding other religions or moral conduct. If we truly represent our heavenly home, should we not practice those same Olympic principles in our lives and stand up for our beliefs and not compromise?

Looking back into Daniel, Chapter 3, we find one such story of three young men that stood up for God in the midst of certain death and did not waiver. It is a favorite among everyone who has read the Bible to some degree. It is the story of the King of Babylon at the time, King Nebuchadnezzar.

The three young men at the time: Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego.

Their dilemma? To worship the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar or be put to death.

Want to know their answer? First of all, it was respectful to the King at that time, and you should notice that in the context of the text.

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." ~ Daniel 3: 16-18

Notice the respect of addressing the king by his title? Did these three know if God would really save them from the blazing furnance? No! Notice the last line, "But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

That is amazing because they understood what is acceptable in the eyes of God whether he can pull you out of your storm or not. He waits to see where our faith will take us?

It's better to die for a conviction, than to live for a compromise!

Notice what happened later. The king was so mad at their response he had the furnace heated seven times hotter before throwing these three in, bound only by ropes? Why the need for ropes? Did he think they could escape if they were not bound?

Then the Bible states, that the king looked into the furnace to see what happened and noticed not three but four men present. Who was the fourth? God of course!

When the king removed the men from the fire, only three emerged and only the ropes burned! No clothing or hair was harmed. They didn't even smell like smoke or fire.

So what is the significance? The fourth man, God remained in the fire, why? Because God is always waiting for us in the midst of our fires or troubles. He will always be there before you even arrive so that you will not weather this storm alone.

The ropes represent the things that bind us from learning to trust whole heartily in God. These are teaching moments in our lives to allow us to see how great our God is and how He will never leave us alone. Just like a refiner is never far away from the mouth of the furnace when they are working on something, God is the same way. He stays with us through it all until we learn to trust and rely on Him.

Psalm 66:10 "For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver."

Remember to look for God in the midst of whatever you are going through and when you find Him, talk to Him and share your burdens with Him. He understands everything you are going through and will show you the way out. Have faith!


Mari said...

Great application of those events to us today. I especially like what you reminded us of - God being there before, during and after the fire!

Deborah Ann said...

I think this post will be a good reminder for all of us to hold fast to our morals and convictions. I often find myself guilty of sliding a bit, finding myself loving people with, shall we say 'loose' morals, and trying to figure out where love refuses to cross the line, you know? I guess it all boils down to saying "I love you, but I don't love what you're doing?"

Great post, Kat!

Yolanda said...

There are men and women in this world that will stand up for what is right instead of compromising or giving in. These are God's Olympic hopefuls.

I loved this, amen and amen!


Laura said...

AMEN sister!! While I have endevored to walk the walk and talk the talk....especially to my children, I am constantly being confronted with "what do you really belive?" In a world that says there is no right or wrong, no black or white...just gray, am I raising a generation that will stand tall and true for a Righteous and Holy God?? Am I modeling that life for them?? Thank you for the great reminder!! God Bless You!!

Unknown said...

It's easier to overstep boundaries or to compromise just to fit in but then, I need to remember that we are in the world but not of it. Great post.

~*Michelle*~ said...

"It's better to die for a conviction, than to live for a compromise!"

Yea and Amen!

Reminds me of another quote I love:

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not."

Great post Kat! Happy New Year!!!!

LV said...

You always have such inspiring and uplifting words for us. Even though you are going through some rough times, you still come through for us. Trust all will be well for you soon.

Andrea said...

Awesome post! One we all need to be reminded of. We must never take our eyes off the LORD.

I hope and pray you are feeling better and have answers!!

Thank you for your sweet comments on arise 2 write.

Blessings and hugs,

Rachel Beran said...

Beautiful reminder! Great insights! Thank you for sharing!

He & Me + 3 said...

I am so glad that I can look for God and find Him in the midst of my storms and my calms. He is there and promises to help when I ask. Thanks for the reminder to ask Him in the midst.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh to be as disciplined as the Olympians! They don't give up when they fall. They get right back up and pursue the goal.

With the Lord by our sides, we can do it too.

Happy 2010 Kat!

Lee Ann

Kailee said...

thanks for the comment mom oh and I love you too thanks for the suport.

love and hugs kays

christy rose said...

Oh Kat! This was absolutely excellent! I felt like I was sitting at a ladies meeting and you were speaking this directly to me. OOOHH! Maybe it was a vision!! :)

Darcie said...

Thanks for this post Kat. I also appreciated what Deborah Ann said and what I think about a lot...that Jesus loved the sinner not the sin.