Billionaire Steve Wynn wanted a one-of-a-kind cirque for his signature resort, Wynn Las Vegas. He worked with architects to design an aqua auditorium with encircling seats. For a hefty price, guests could watch aerial wizardry, synchronized swimming, dizzying choreography, mind-bending gymnastics, and dramatic plunges into the perilous pool. The show, Le Rêve, opened in 2005, but was discontinued in 2020.

Like a cirque performer, sometimes we find ourselves at the center of unwanted stress. Life can be frightening and sometimes terrifying. We feel alone, yet like a spectacle. People are watching in perplexity, wondering how far we’ll fall.

Biblical heroes felt that way too. The apostle Paul said, “God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as… a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9). And the writer to the Hebrews said, “You were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations” (Hebrews 10:33).

            Feelings of fear overcome us all, and as Christians we know we’re not immune to adversity. But I can tell you from Scripture and personal experience that the Lord will never drop us.


A Great Crowd of Witnesses

            The Bible contains a large population of people who experienced God’s ability to turn pandemonium into praise. They put Christ in the center ring of their hearts and let His influence be center stage in their lives. It made all the difference and resulted in prosperity, peace, and praise. Take a look at two of them.


  • Jonah’s terror at plummeting into the ocean and being swallowed by a giant sea creature, was due to his own foolishness. But the experience taught him repentance and gave him a new resolve to maximize his ministry, which resulted in an entire city—Nineveh—coming to the Lord (Jonah 1–4).
  • When Stephen’s sermon produced a murderous mob that began stoning him to death, he became a spectacle. “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). The image of Stephen’s martyrdom was so haunting to Saul of Tarsus that it stayed with him until he was converted and became the greatest missionary in history.


            The Bible teaches that we’re not exempt from problems; but when committed to Him, all our problems will work out for our good (Romans 8:28) according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11) and in a way that magnifies Christ (Philippians 1:20) and advances the Gospel (Acts 8:4).


A Captive Audience

            One Saturday, the missionary Jerry Pinkerton was leading Bible studies at a church being planted in Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. As he opened the door of his vehicle to leave, he felt something brush against him. It was the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun. Jerry instantly fought with the robber but spied three other men with guns. Jerry surrendered and was shoved into the backseat of his own car. As the robbers tore through Abidjan, one of the men said, “I’m going to kill you.”

            “Go ahead and shoot,” said Jerry. “I’m not afraid to die. If you shoot me, I’ll go straight to heaven. But not you. You’re going to go to hell because you don’t know the Lord Jesus as your Savior.” Jerry added a few more words of Gospel truth, and moments later, the driver left Jerry on the side of the road. Arriving back at the church, Jerry found the building filled with church members on their faces in prayer for his deliverance.

            “The Lord took away all fear,” Pinkerton later said. “My kidnappers thought they had a captive, but I was the one with the captive audience and I shared the Gospel. I never saw the men again—or my vehicle—but I did share Christ with them, unbelievers saw God at work, our new church was strengthened, and I learned more about the inner strengthening of the Lord.”

            In the performance of life, none of us want to be spectacles, but whenever we find ourselves walking a tightrope, we must make up our mind to trust the Lord with all our heart. Jesus can use our situation to share Christ, strengthen His Church, develop our perseverance, and deepen our own heart. He never gambles with our life. In His timing, He will always turn adversity into advantage and leave a blessing behind.



David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit