Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, 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 deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.” (Daniel 3:16–17)
Are you facing a fiery trial? You fear you won’t make it out alive. You pray to be saved from it and think, there must be a way out. But some things must be passed through.
Perhaps, like the three friends in Daniel 3, the fire you face has been stoked seven times hotter. In their case, the fire was so hot that the soldiers who had been assigned the unfortunate job of throwing the lads into the furnace were incinerated.
Interestingly, the three weren’t rescued from being tossed into the blazing furnace. God chose instead to preserve them through it. The result is immediate: upon their miraculous survival, King Neb changed his tune. He decreed that none should speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “for no other god can save in this way” (Daniel 3:29).
We could be tempted to think that was the end of it, but was more going on behind the scenes?
God is an economist. He uses our trials to perform more than just the miracles that can be seen at a glance. Perhaps equally important, though less apparent, is the hidden work enacted in the deep places of individual souls. This refining work may go unnoticed by the masses, but it doesn’t pass unseen by the Lord, or by those who have felt its transforming effects—both those who experience it firsthand and those who witness the changed hearts and actions of the ones who have undergone the refining process.
As a result of God’s miraculous intervention, I’m sure the faith, praise, worship, and joy of Daniel’s friends increased that day. How thrilled they must have been to look down and note that their skin wasn’t crispy!
When facing trials, can we claim that same resolve? That whether we get burned or consumed, whether we’re rescued out of our circumstances or not, we will stand and not bow in fear? Will we choose to proclaim, no matter the outcome, that God is God and we will worship him alone—that he will be our soul focus? This simple decision will make all the difference, both on the threshold and in the midst of the flames.
If you’re facing a furnace today, know that, although God may not have chosen to prevent it or douse it as soon as you’d hoped, he’s beside you in it. He’ll do greater things in the fire, miraculous things of glory, when the flames are hottest. We can even thank God for the fire because, once we’ve walked through it, we are ushered into greater faith and beauty.
God is preserving me through this fiery trial. I will not be consumed.