The book of Daniel gives us a wonderful glimpse into walking through fiery trials-literally!
King Nebuchadnezzar erected a golden statue and ordered everyone to bow before it at certain times of the day. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down and were brought before the king. The king, wanting to give them a second chance, told them if they would bow down before him, they would be spared the painful death of being thrown into a firey furnace (which-- YIKES!-- was a common practice in those times).
They refused. they told him, "...we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, 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 3:16-18).
The king was furious and ordered that the furnace be turned up 7 times hotter than normal.
It's so hot, in fact, that the guards who were ordered to tie them up and drag them to the furnace were killed from the heat!
As the king watched, he noticed that there were 4 men instead of 3 in the furnace. The kings said that the 4th man looked like "a son of the gods." Jesus is with them! He noticed that they were moving around unharmed and they were now unbound!
The king called the men out of the furnace and as they exit, it's noticed that not one hair of their heads is singed, nor is there even a hint of smoke on their clothing.
We can all take comfort in this account:
We will ALL face firey trials. We will all be called to walk through terrible, trying and difficult times.
And, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we can rest in the knowledge that God will deliver us from our firey trial...but sometimes that means by delivering us THROUGH the firey trial.
And, also like Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, we will likely find that when we emerge from our trial, the only thing burned will be those things that bound us.
God is with us. We can rest in His assurance that He will be there for us, even in the hardest times.
Do you take Jeremiah 29L:11 to heart?
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
He is there for us. We may not always feel Him or see Him--and His "prosper" may not fall in line with ours, but He's there.r I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.