xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml'> The Pastor's Perspective: Deep Faith

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deep Faith

Alg Mario Sepulveda celebrates after being rescued from the mine
 I was thinking today about what our next blog post was going to be about and I got to thinking about the amazing miner story and how they were rescued after 69 days of being trapped in a hole. 33 Miners were miraculously rescued one by one over a two day period. According to reports the last man rescued was supposedly the one that kept the entire group of miners together and focused on being rescued.  He said, " "We have done what the entire world was waiting for...We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing." What tremendous spirit they exemplified in the midst of probably the greatest challenge they've ever faced.

So many stories have come out of this one story about the rescue, everything from a miner inviting both his wife and his mistress to the rescue site, all the way to which miner wanted to be the last one rescued. But, to me the most profound story of all of those that have come out was one miner who says that both God and the devil were in the hole with them.


According to CNN.com,  "Sepulveda, the second miner extracted from the mine, has advice for those who take undue risks in their lives."I think I have learned a lot of wonderful lessons about taking the good path in life," he said. "For those of you able to call your wives or your husbands, do so. During the time he was trapped inside the mine, Sepulveda said, he saw both good and evil. I was with God, and I was with the devil. They fought, and God won," he said. Sepulveda said he grabbed God's hand and never doubted that he would be rescued."  

The reason that this story resonated more with me than the others was because this miner's statement gives a better picture of the mental battle that each of the 33 miners encountered while trapped in that hole in Chile. It was more than just a physical battle that they were experiencing, it was more than a battle against their will, but this was a spiritual battle that this one miner was able to see in the midst of all else that was going on. I can imagine the devil telling him along with the other miners that you will not be rescued, this mine is going to become your ultimate grave, no one will ever be able to find you. But, in the midst of the negative venom the devil was spewing, God was speaking to that miner and telling him to hold on and hang in there help is on the way. This miner, according to his earlier statement, decided to listen to the voice of God and he decided to grab a hold of God's hand and never doubted that he would be rescued. And, God proved true to his word and brought he and the other miners out just like he said he would.

This story kind of reminds me of the Three Hebrew Boys; who were thrown into the burning fiery furnance by King Nebudchadnezzar for refusing to bow before his graven image. Their courage, determination and loyalty to God was demonstrated when they boldly declared to the King, "We are not careful to answer thee in this manner, for the God that we serve is able to deliver us out of the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of your hand O'King. But, if not, let be known unto thee O'King that we will not serve your idols nor worship your golden image you have setup."  The King was infuriated with their defiance and threw them into a furnace that was heated 7 times hotter than it normally was. Not much is said regarding the conversations or the mentality of the young men after they were thrown into the fiery furnace. But, as the story goes on the king went to check on them and he saw four men in the furnace and one of them appeared to be the Son of God. So, yes it was abundantly clear that God was with them in that fiery furnace, but it was their faith in God before they went in that allowed them to see that God would be with them. However, the devil wanted them to believe that they would be devoured; that they would be consumed by the fire, but they kept their faith and believed that God would deliver them in spite of what the situation might have looked like.


In life; as children of God, we are going to have two voices speaking to us. One voice, which is the devil; the accuser, who will tell you that you are not going to make it, and you are not going to win. He wants to convince you that there is nothing to look forward to in life, an that your situation has ultimately determined your outcome. And, if we listen to that voice long enough, he will convince you that what he is saying is true. He will convince you that giving up is the easiest thing to do, and if you listen he will convince you that there is absolutely no hope. But, there is another voice that the rescued miner in Chile decided to listen to, and that was the voice of God. And, God is there to encourage you and to lift you and to let you know that if you hold on and hang in there everything is going to be alright. God's voice is speaking to you in the midst of your current crisis, even when the situation looks like it hasn't changed or has even gotten worse, God is still speaking to us and telling us not to quit and not to give up. And, even as the situation keeps getting worse, God keeps saying to us hold on, don't give up. It is up to you to determine who's voice are you ultimately going to listen to. Because the devil never stops talking and as the situation continues to get worse the "righter" the devil seems and the louder his voice begins to resonate. But, your faith kicks in when you allow God's voice to become the prevailing voice you hear even as the situations continues to worsen. And, eventually as the bible rightfully declares, "He that shall come, will come and He will not tarry." It is then you find out there you were listening to the right voice all along.

My question to you today is who's voice are you going to listen to? The miners exemplied what I believe to be "Deep Faith" because they took their faith deep into the recesses of the earth and held on to it even as the days and nights got longer and their rescue looked even more bleak. Can you hold on in the midst of what you going through? Do you have the faith to believe in God despite what the prognosticators are saying. I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear your stories of truimph over tragedy and how you held on to your faith in the midst of a difficult situation. You never know who you are able to encourage with your testimony!  Share those stories and let see how God moves in the life of someone else.

The people of Chile celebrating the 33 miners rescue
Until next time, be blessed!


Pastor Nimmons
www.michaelnimmons.com

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