Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials” James 1:2 (HCSB)

Contrary to what many people think, Jesus is not in the rescue business. Sure, He rescued us from sin and death! And there are times when He does rescue, like when He calmed the storm (Mark 4:39), or set Peter free from jail (Acts 12:7). Yes, and praise God, sometimes there are miracles that change everything! And may these increase!!! Nevertheless, His primary mode of operation is not to rescue, but to meet us in the midst of the problem, pit or dire situation, and then walk with us through it.

Just ask Moses, who was called from the heat of the desert to jump into the frying pan of Egypt. He walked straight into the pit to lead the enslaved Hebrews into freedom. It was a long process in which God literally showed up as a pillar of fire by night and smoke by day. His glory moved before them. They were not simply rescued, they were led by God to freedom. Yes, it was miraculous, and so is our journey if we choose to walk it out with God. It was through this pilgrimage that God revealed Himself to them, just like He did when He calmed the storm for His disciples!

Just ask Shadrach when he and his two friends were thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow down to the image of the king (Daniel 3). They did not even ask to be delivered. They did not cry out for mercy from the king. They simply said, if our God wants to rescue us, He will! As they were thrown into the fire, Jesus showed up and walked with them in the flames. Ultimately, they were brought out and set free, and God got the glory! And God wants to walk with us in the flames!

Just ask Daniel when he was thrown into the lions’ den (Daniel 6). There is no record that he even prayed to be delivered from the jaws of these hungry beasts. He was thrown there because he refused to conform to desires of those who hated him. When laws were put in place that made praying illegal, he continued to openly pray, knowing the consequence it would bring. But God met him in the lions’ den, just as He will meet us in our pit!

Just ask Paul and Silas who were in jail, but instead of praying for a rescue squad to come and free them, they worshiped. Yep, God responded with an earthquake, and still they did not run for their freedom. God used the moment to reach the jailer and his household (Acts 16:25-31)! God will meet you right where you are!

He doesn’t merely want to rescue us. Most likelihood, He has you right where He needs you to be so that He can meet you in ways you have never seen Him before. It is in our challenges that we grow the most. It is in our battles that we gain territory. It is in the conflicts that we learn to walk in victory. We are called to be overcomers, but that requires something to overcome! So, in the midst of the pain, the challenges and the conflict, He wants to show up, to equip us, to reveal Himself to us, to mature us, and to prepare us to help others through the same!

Lastly, this is why He is not coming as a rescue mission to whisk His church away from the consuming darkness. The devil has not beat Him! Nope! Jesus is victorious, and He is coming for a Church, a people who have readied themselves by walking through trials with Him. Yes, there is a rapture coming, but it is not a rescue mission, rather it is for a Bridal feast! In fact, Jesus even commanded us to “occupy” till He returns (Luke 19:13). He clearly desires that we busy ourselves with His purposes until He comes to take us away. So instead of hiding yourself and waiting for the rescue to come, allow this day to be an opportunity to invite Jesus into your challenges, and let His light shine through you to the world around you! You are His hands, feet and voice. Believe me, the world looks at how we go through hard times! May those around you see you walk through the challenges, giving Him the glory.

Surrender to Him your life, your situations, your challenges, and your pain. Invite Him to join you, to walk with you and comfort you through the ordeal. Repent for any place you have complained and/or griped about how hard these times are! Ask Him to use you to shine light, life, hope, peace, purpose and joy to those around you. Ask Him for a grace to consider it all joy when you encounter various trials (James 1:2), for His glory!