How strong is your faith? How far will you go to prove out your trust in your Creator and Savior? The answer to that question should be..."as far as He leads me to go." Most believers will not object to that answer, most will concur and agree that it is their answer but to what extent have believers pushed the boundaries of their imagination to see into what it might mean in the near future to have your faith tested?

In the coming months and next few years we are likely going to witness a rapid and devastating decline into chaos on a multitude of levels in the world. What has never been a part of your life or most people's lives in the civilized world might well become commonplace. The inability to earn a living, the inability to obtain essential provisions, homelessness, detention, torture, threat of execution, disease, poisoning, war and natural disaster...this is a grim list of probable possibilities humanity is facing in the near future. Without a Father in Heaven to look towards, the unbelieving masses will have only what things they can perceive in their material existence to draw upon in answer to such calamity. Their answers will be few and insufficient...they will focus on survival of self and fall short of that ultimately. The good news, if you are a believer in Him, is that you have a better option...an Almighty and Sovereign Elohim who knows of every sparrow who falls to the ground, and much beyond any sparrow, cares for you. That is the truth every child of His is happy to hear, but there is more about trust in Him to consider than just in what ways you are benefited by it.

Trust in Him Means Living It In Real Life

When we say we trust Him...this has to mean something. Trust is a will to action, we don't take actions in our lives based upon things we do not believe will have the results we want or the results which are promised. We don't cross bridges when we can see that they are broken and likely to fall from beneath us, we don't take medicine we think is likely to do no good or cause more harm than help. It is interesting, then, that in the arena of spiritual truths, many are so willing to say they trust their Creator and simultaneously refuse to or are hesitant to take actions in their lives based on His promises.

If you found yourself employed in a position in which you began receiving orders to do things which were immoral and you knew that they were, you consequently would be convicted in your spirit by Him to leave that employment. In the worldly aspect though, comes a conflict...you might begin to worry about how you will provide for your family, what sort of work you could find and how quickly to replace the one you left. You might know in your mind and reflect upon how His promise was to provide for your needs and that your commission is to seek first His Kingdom and yet those worries and concerns in their worldly context lead you to justify the immoral actions you are being asked to perform instead of obeying His voice. Can you anymore claim to trust Him once your actions have established that you do not? This hypothetical situation could happen to anyone on any day presently, and the consequences of not trusting Him might be quite devastating, yet there is still a chance for a point of repentance...but what happens on the day that the choice to trust Him comes down to a final test of the metal of your faith, when the consequences of choosing wrongly are eternal?

Since the great popularity of a series of books entitled "Left Behind"...the body of believers in Him, have in great numbers, jumped upon a bandwagon of doctrine set forth in these books as if it had come from the pages of scripture itself. It would seem that it is still the case now that most mainline "Christians" are awaiting a day in the near future where they will be swept away into the clouds by Messiah, prior to the great upheaval of a tribulation period in order that they might be spared from it. This is a real feel-good doctrine. No one wants to imagine themselves living through hell on Earth and those who propose a pre-tribulation rapture event have a sense in their minds that Elohim would not put them through such a thing. The reality of the matter does not look this way in scripture. There is exactly zero reference to any event which would spare believers from the tribulation in His Word. It is in fact, very pointedly made clear that He will put His people through the fire to test the sincerity of their resolve to be His.

And those of the people who understand shall instruct many. Yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help, but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end, because it is still for the appointed time. - Daniel 11:33-35

At that time Miyka'el shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book, and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. Some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the expanse and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniye'l, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase." - Daniel 12: 1-4

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold, but he who endures to the end shall be saved. - Matthew 24: 9-13

If you are a believer, ask yourself this day, how much your life proves that you trust Him...and ask yourself how hot of a fire you are willing to go through to prove your trust in Him. We are approaching a time in history when those who dare speak His name will be condemned to death...when those who will not concede to the identifying credentials of the Beast and his system will be denied the ability to buy provisions or sell anything to anyone. Have you reached a point of maturity in which you are prepared to face the last days? It is time to know the answer, and it is time that the little lambs still feeding on milk grow to rams capable of digesting the solid food of His truth.

If you are not a believer, understand that the path we walk is not for the faint hearted, but that we follow the One, the Only, and the Completely Trustworthy way to an eternal, imperishable reward and reconciliation to the Creator of all that exists. You might have found an easier path to walk through this fallen world on, but you have not found a genuine road to anything but an ultimately short and perishable existence in which is no fulfillment, meaning or peace. Every second that passes is one second closer for you to the point of no return...i invite you to come find out why we are a people willing to lay it all on the line for someone named Yahushua.

If He says stand, be ready to stand, if He says speak, be ready to speak, if He says resist, be prepared to resist and if He says "You will go into captivity to be thoroughly tested in the furnace.", prepare your answer that it might it be "Yes, My King." Endure to the end.

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Nebuwkadne'tstsar the king made an image of gold
whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits.
He set it up in the plain of Duwra' in the province of Babel.

And King Nebuwkadne'tstsar sent word to gather together
the governors of the Paras provinces, the prefects,
the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges,
the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces,
to come to the dedication of the image
that King Nebuwkadne'tstsar had set up.

So the governors of the Paras provinces, the prefects,
the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges,
the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces
gathered together for the dedication of the image
that King Nebuwkadne'tstsar had set up
and they stood before the image
that Nebuwkadne'tstsar had set up.

Then a herald cried aloud, "To you it is commanded,
O peoples, nations, and languages, that
at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp,
lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music,
you shall fall down and worship the gold image
that King Nebuwkadne'tstsar has set up,

and whoever does not fall down and worship
shall be cast immediately into the midst
of a burning fiery furnace."

So at that time, when all the people heard
the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre,
in symphony with all kinds of music,
all the people, nations, and languages
fell down and worshipped the gold image
that King Nebuwkadne'tstsar had set up.

Therefore at that time certain Kasdiy came forward
and accused the Yahudiym.

They spoke and said to King Nebuwkadne'tstsar,
"O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a
decree that everyone who hears the sound of the
horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery,
in symphony with all kinds of music,

shall fall down and worship the gold image,
and whoever does not fall down and worship
shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

There are certain Yahudiym whom you have
set over the affairs of the province of Babel.
Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow.

These men, O king, have not paid due regard to you.
They do not serve your 'eloah or worship
the gold image that you have set up."

Then Nebuwkadne'tstsar, in rage and fury,
gave the command to bring Shadrak, Meyshak,
and 'Abed Negow.

they brought these men before the king.
Nebuwkadne'tstsar spoke saying to them,
"Is it true, Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow,
that you do not serve my 'eloah or worship
the gold image that I have set up?

Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound
of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony
with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship
the image that I have made, good!

But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately
into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, and
who is the 'Eloah who will deliver you from my hands?"

Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow answered and
said to the king, "O Nebuwkadne'tstsar, we have
no need to answer you in this matter.

If that is the case, our 'Eloah 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 'eloah nor will we worship
the gold image that you have set up."

Then Nebuwkadne'tstsar was full of fury and
the expression on his face changed toward
Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow.

He spoke and commanded that they heat the
furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.

And he commanded certain mighty men of valor
who were in his army to bind Shadrak, Meyshak,
and 'Abed Negow, and cast them into
the burning fiery furnace.

Then these men were bound in their coats,
their trousers, their turbans, and their
other garments, and were cast into the midst
of the burning fiery furnace.

Therefore, because the king's command was urgent,
and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire
killed those men who took up Shadrak, Meyshak,
and 'Abed Negow

and these three men, Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow,
fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuwkadne'tstsar was astonished and
he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors,
"Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"
They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."

"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 a son of 'eloah."

Then Nebuwkadne'tstsar went near the mouth of
the burning fiery furnace and spoke saying,
"Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow,
servants of the Most High 'Eloah,
come out and come here."

Then Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow
came from the midst of the fire.

And the governors of the Paras provinces,
prefects, governors, and the king's counselors
gathered together, and they saw these men
on whose bodies the fire had no power.

The hair of their head was not singed
nor were their garments affected
and the smell of fire was not on them.

Nebuwkadne'tstsar spoke saying, "Blessed is the
'Eloah of Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow,
Who sent His messenger and delivered His servants
who trusted in Him

and they have frustrated the king's word and
yielded their bodies that they should not serve
nor worship any 'Eloah except their own 'Eloah!

Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation,
or language that speaks anything amiss against the
'Eloah of Shadrak, Meyshak, and 'Abed Negow
shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall
be made an ash heap, because there is
no other 'eloah who can deliver like this."

Then the king promoted Shadrak, Meyshak,
and 'Abed Negow in the province of Babel.

Daniel Chapter 3

["Four In The Furnace" Art by Ted Larson]
How strong is your faith? How far will you go to prove out your trust in your Creator and Savior?

I have not always wanted to acknowledge that the Christ-life is a call to do hard things: to be tested and tried by the circumstances and people of your daily life. Like too many others who are taught that to be Christ-like is to receive and live with all the blessings of the child of a king, I, too, wanted to live in that camp. But if that was the measure, then my lifestyle was like a blazing neon sign that I was far from God's graces.

I hold fiercely to God; like the child that clings to its mother's legs, refusing to be rebuffed or removed. O, it is OK when I decide to assert my independence and will. Otherwise, I cling with fierce tenacity, for my strongest desire is to be found worthy to suffer.

"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." Ac 5:41

Sitting in the camp of the "blessed" I felt humiliation and shame that obviously my faith walk was so dismal that God found me unworthy to bless. The final embarrassment, for me, was when the hand of God absolutely removed me from this camp, relocating me miles away.

My frustration grew to anger and resentment. I was bitter that God had seemingly turned His back on me. At every turn I was helpless to improve my circumstances. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Now God had my attention: my eyes and my ears were focused on Him. And that is when I learned the truth: Christ came to be our example, and the example He was demonstrating was how to correctly respond to a life of pain and suffering.

It is not ungodly to live blessed, only risky; however, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that those who would be like Him, who wanted to follow Him, must be willing to deny themselves the blessed life of comfort and ease and take up the cross of shame and suffering.

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the shole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mt 16:24-26


How strong is your faith? How far will you go to prove out your trust in your Creator and Savior?

These are questions I wrestle with more frequently these days as I foresee the very real possibility that more will be asked or required of me. Having committed to living a life true to my conscience, my more constant prayer must be, Lord, if You find me worthy to suffer for Your name, give me strength.

I don't know if it is in me to do the harder things ahead. I have little experience taking up my cross and seeing how God will provide and protect. Encountering fear, until 2003, was always understood by me as God's way of warning I was going the wrong way. Believing I was pleasing God, I turned back. I have always lived cautiously, unwilling to confront fear. Until 2003.

My youth is gone. My health is undependable. It will only be through God's grace and mercy that I will be able to achieve my desire:


If He says stand, be ready to stand, if He says speak, be ready to speak, if He says resist, be prepared to resist and if He says "You will go into captivity to be thoroughly tested in the furnace.", prepare your answer that it might it be "Yes, My King." Endure to the end.

So, these days a balance is needed: to stay in God's Word, practicing and rehearsing our response, but to keep abreast of current events, to be men that have "understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do" (I Chr 12:32).
Deborah, consider yourself highly blessed, though it might seem like a strange blessing..that you have been already exposed to what it means to suffer, what it means to have faith tested and what it means to lean on His strength. Those believers who have never endured great trials and feel that it must be the destiny of a Christian to live like royalty in this temporal life are ill prepared to face a hard times. Worse yet, this mindset removes the close and intimate connection every believer ought to feel with the price Messiah paid. Understanding suffering puts us in a place to have a deeper perspective of what He did for us.

Now here we are facing a future which could easily be fearful...that would be natural, and no, we don't have the strength to do it or to overcome that natural fear...but He does. When fear comes, it's useful to sit and do a little math exercise. Start adding up all the times that He has provided a way when you thought there was no way, the times He answered a prayer that was said in desperation, the times He blessed you with just what you needed. Now ask yourself if this same Heavenly Father will desert you when you need Him most.

All hell might break loose on planet Earth...but it's really going to be ok.

a little "p.s." here...

you might have had some difficulty adding this last post of yours, maybe a glitch on the site...it got up here three times..just to let you know, i'm going to remove the repeats of it and leave this first one up. :)
No glitch - I just edited it three times. Is there a way that I can delete the repeats, when and if this happens again? I didn't see that I could, or I would have. Thanks for doing that.

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