Many times in my life, I’ve found myself in situations that were out of my control: times where I have felt alone and overlooked, not knowing what the future held in store. The difficulties in life often usher in many different emotions and bring the deepest parts of our hearts to the surface. When confronted with fire, what do we do? When we walk through the storm, what will we believe?
In Daniel chapter 3, we see the power of faith and the mighty God that we serve. As believers, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were punished for not bowing to another god. They were securely tied up and thrown into the fiery furnace. The flames were so hot, the Bible says that it killed the soldiers as they threw them in. However, verses 24-25 say this:
“But Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes your majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
As Christians, we aren’t promised smooth sailing or that adversity will never knock on our door. But we are guaranteed to never go it alone. You see, their freedom came in the fire because God was with them. Their chains fell off long before they stepped out of the furnace. It’s so easy to want to bypass the hard stuff, but it’s what truly changes us. When Jesus is the only thing we have, our faith goes deeper. When all other options are gone, our trust is strengthened. It’s in those times we realize, He is who He says He is. He is faithful and He is always good. And we desperately need Him.
The older I get, the more I see the potential in every trial. The fire that once would’ve consumed me, now God uses to refine me. The very thing that was meant to harm, He turns it around for His glory – because it all points back to Him. Even after the fiery furnace, the three men didn’t even smell of smoke. We have the promise that not only can God deliver us, but He can wipe away every hint of defeat. If we will fix our eyes on Jesus and place our hope in Him, He will fight our battles. He’ll not only free us in the fire, but He’ll walk us through it, hand in hand.