“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).
One of the most beautiful pictures of trusting in the sovereignty of God is in the story of three young Jewish men: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three lads refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. The punishment for such rebellion against the king was death in a fiery furnace. When the young men were taken before the king just before facing death, they respectfully explained:
The God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)
That is a faith that’s real – truly tried by fire. God can deliver me, but if He chooses not to, I’ll serve Him anyway. God can heal me, but if He doesn’t, I love Him regardless.
The young men were thrown into the furnace. Their refusal to bow to the King’s request infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie the young men up and toss them into the flames. The flames were so hot, the soldiers who took the bound boys to the furnace died in its heat. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into the flames and the King stood by to watch.
“Didn’t we throw three men in the furnace,” the King asked in amazement.
“Look, I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25).
That was enough for the king to have a change of heart. He ordered the door opened, and the three young men walked out of that furnace without a singed hair on their heads or a hint of smoke on their clothes!
We can be sure of this, my friend – when walking through the fiery trials of life, we are never alone. Jesus is right there with us all the way. A little smoke and fire doesn’t bother Him one little bit.
Dear Lord, thank You that I never have to walk through the fiery trials of life alone. You promised that You will never leave me, and I cling to that truth today. Also, thank You for sending friends to walk through the flames with me! They are some of my most treasured gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What do You Think?
Describe one of the fiery trials in your life that you have had to walk through?
How was God’s presence manifested in the “flames?”
Do you have a friend who needs someone to walk through a fiery trial with her?
Do you desire to have friends like the three young men in this story? If so, ask God to send you one or two friends with a strong faith with whom you can lock arms.
Gwen, Mary and I are so thankful that you have allowed us to walk through life with you. You are a blessing!
Leave a comment and tell me the name of one friend who is your fiery furnace friend. I’ll randomly pick 2 and send you both a Starbucks gift card.
Fiery trials come in all shapes and sizes with varying degrees of heat. But no matter what the trial, there is always a lesson to be learned. God can use it for good (Romans 8:28). Let’s not waste our sorrows, but turn them around and use them for good! To learn more on how to do just that check out my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past.