Lions And Tigers And Bears . . . Amen!

Grace For The Journey

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5Mar  You may recognize the title of today’s blog as a play on the words from one of the most memorable lines of the Wizard of Oz.  Dorothy and her companions she met along the yellow-brick road that led to Oz were confronted with many dangers.  At one point during their journey they cried out in fear, “Lions and tigers and bears!  Oh my!”

We Christians face many dangers on the road to our heavenly destination, but unlike the characters in Dorothy’s dream, the Gospel empowers us to cry, “Lions and tigers and bears, Amen!”  We will walk “through many dangers, toils, and snares” on this side of the grave, but the Christian is empowered to cry “Amen” instead of “O my!” for two important reasons: the promise of the dangers and the power in the dangers.  I want us to look at these tremendous truths in today’s blog.

THE PROMISE OF THE DANGERS

The first thing every Christian must remember is that we have been promised to encounter a lifetime of lions, tigers, and bears.  We should not be surprised by the dangers and difficulties that beset us, because we live in a fallen and broken world as fallen, broken people.  If our Lord was despised and rejected and experienced pain and suffering for the life He lived, should we expect to receive a crown of glory for ours?

  • He was betrayed; we will be betrayed.
  • He was falsely accused; we will be falsely accused.
  • He was slandered; we will be slandered.
  • He was abandoned; we will be abandoned.
  • He was mocked; we will be mocked.

The Bible never promised us a walk in the park!  Jesus reminded us about that truth in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation: be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Also, in Philippians 1:29, God tells us through the apostle Paul, “For to you It has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,.”

And in 1 Peter 5:8, the Bible says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We should not be surprised by the many dangers and difficulties we face on a daily basis because we have been promised them in Scripture.

The Christian faith is forged in the fiery trials of life.

We need not fear them nor flee them because of . . .

THE POWER AVAILABLE IN THE DANGERS

Once we understand the promise of life’s challenges, we need to rest in the God-power to face them.  We do not face our problems, challenges, and difficulties alone and we do not fight them in our own strength.  Our power is in the person of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says in Romans 8:37, “What shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?” … “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yeah, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Again the Bible says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives I me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who love me and gave Himself for me.”

So . . . what lions, tigers, and bears have you been facing lately?  Have you been surprised by the number of them or their ferocity?  Faith in the focus of our faith (Jesus Christ) will help us overcome our fear of every opposition to our faith.  Because God has ordained all things (Romans 11:36), no matter what storms beset us, we can rest in Him.

He is not only with us in the storm,

He sent the storm for two important reasons:

For His glory and our good.

Therefore,

We can stand on God’s promises

And

Be victorious through the power of Christ

By the way, did you notice what Jesus does in John 16:33?  He not only said, “In the world you will have tribulation.”  He went on to say, “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  That is a promise that equips us to move from “Oh my!” to “Amen!” . . . no matter how fierce the trials facing us!

This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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