When Escape Seems Impossible

In last week’s blog I wrote about Daniel in the lion’s den.  His treatment was unjust.  Daniel was an old man at the time and armed only with the unseen weapon of prayer.  You know the story; Daniel was miraculously kept safe from the lion’s paws.

There are many followers of God throughout the ages who have experienced miracles of deliverance.  However, what about those who have been thrown to the lions and were indeed torn to shreds?  What about Christians who have been burned alive because of their faith?  What about Christians around the world, even today, who are beaten to death, falsely imprisoned, stoned, and beheaded?  There were seemingly no miracles for them.

What about you and me? Perhaps we are not threatened with death, but troubles of this world can make daily living a painful existence.  Why doesn’t God give everyone a miracle of escape, just like He did for Daniel?

I want to encourage you, fellow travelers, when it seems that God is not providing an escape, it only appears that way because of what we see with our eyes rather than what we see with our hearts.  It is a common mistake of Christians to remain focused upon difficulties they are dealing with in their physical worlds.  One can become so fixed on the troubles seen with human eyes and felt with broken hearts, that they fail to see beyond into the unseen world of the spiritual.  You see, while miracles sometimes take place in our physical world to deliver us, they always take place in our spiritual world, where our cries of the heart communes in earnest with Almighty God, thus summoning His assistance.

Daniel looked beyond the physical trial of the lions; he cried for help into the spiritual realm, and there he found all he needed.  You see, even if the lions had devoured him, Daniel would still have been delivered. God Himself would have given him everything he needed to endure with peace.  In his heart, Daniel had already escaped his trial.  He abandoned the fear of his physical world the moment he entered into the spiritual dwelling place of God.  Where God resides there is no more pain, fear fades into peace, and troubles of this world cannot enter.

In times of personal trouble, I often remind myself of the old hymn writers.  Their lives encourage me to press on just as they did.  They knew how to focus upon God in the spiritual realm, leaving the troubles of this world in proper perspective. Here are a few of my favorites:

Thomas Dorsey wrote, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” after his wife and son died during the son’s birth.

William Cowper wrote, “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood,” in the midst of frequent bouts with deep depression.  He attempted suicide more than once.

Major Daniel Whittle wrote, “Showers of Blessings,” after losing his leg in a Civil War battle.

Catherine Hankey wrote, “I Love To Tell The Story,” while bedridden from serious illness.

Annie Johnson Flint wrote, “He Giveth More Grace,” while suffering crippling arthritis.

George Matheson wrote “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” while remaining blind for all of his life.

None of the above were defeated in their physical circumstances because they were able to look beyond into the spiritual realm.  There they found their help and deliverance.

The Psalmist, David, said it best in Psalm 61: 2-3, “From the ends of the earth,  I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.”

Remember, for the Christian, there is no such thing as — no means of escape.  In the inner places of your heart, He always delivers us.

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