I have recently been inspired by the Facebook postings I have read from Shaun Wackerly,who lost a precious little baby boy, and Patti Whigham who is going through a kidney transplant. I hope this article inspires us all to trust God in our difficult days.
How do you respond to troubles and trials in your life? We were never promised that this life would always be smooth. It has been said that if things are going good for a person, he has just come out of trial or is soon headed for one. When we have difficulties in our life we would do well to follow the path of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, and trust God in the Flames.
Trusting God in the Flames
Dan. 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
The word faith signifies the ability to trust in the infinite one; a lifestyle that places supreme confidence in a Supreme Being. When we think of faith names like Noah, Enoch, Rahab, David and Abraham come to mind. We think about God working the miraculous through the ordinary. We are able to gain strength by recalling the names of these faithful people.
The picture we draw of faith is inspiring. Faith is described as strong, bold, unswerving, and enduring. That is true when speaking of God’s faithfulness, but it is not always true when speaking of man.
Man’s faith is imperfect. Sometimes we doubt and question. Most of the time, we do not understand God’s ways. Having faith in smooth times is simple, but what do we do when we are in the flames? What do we do when it appears God is not going to deliver?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew about trying times. They literally felt the heat associated with being faithful. These 3 men teach us how faith responds in difficult times.
King Nebuchadnezzar gave a mandate for all to worship the golden image he made. Those who refused would be thrown into the furnace. Nice of him to give them a choice wasn’t it.
Our 3 heroes refused to bow down. Upon learning of their disobedience the king gave them another chance. They did not have much of a choice; bow or burn.
Sometimes life seems unfair. Death invades as an unwelcome guest. Painful words from another tear us apart. Families divide, suffering from the strain of uncaring attitudes, we look around and we wonder where God is? Where is he, when our world is falling apart?
Some people live under the mistaken idea that once a person obeys God that problems will disappear. We know that God gives us his power grace and wisdom to deal with troubles; but the scriptures never make any promises that we can avoid or escape trouble.
The Bible warns us that the believer may face even greater difficulties in certain areas than he had before his baptism into Christ. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would have had no problem bowing had they not been children of God.
It has often been said that a person really doesn’t know who his friends are until the bottom drops out. To a certain extent we may never come to know the true love of God and Jesus until they have carried us through some trouble or trial. When they bring us through some distress our faith in them increases.
Sometimes in life events do not always work out the way we want them to. When this happens some are quick to doubt and say that Jesus was not there in their hour of need. Some become angry and turn away and they write God and Jesus off as being unfaithful.
When things get bad in our lives we would do well to follow the philosophy of the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. First, they said “if we are thrown into the flames the God we serve is able to save us from your hand, O, King.” God and Jesus are able. Regardless of the problem they can come to the rescue. No matter how chaotic life becomes they are able to deliver. Second, these 3 Hebrew children display their level of faith. In Dan.3:18, they tell the king, “even if He doesn’t deliver us we will not bow.” What faith these young men had. They had just told the king that “God is able” to deliver and now they say even if He doesn’t we will not bow. That’s important because we have never been promised a lack of suffering and pain. Painful circumstances may not change. We may want them to change, but they may not.
We have been promised that we will have what we need to survived. Long ago Nebuchadnezzar looked down into that fiery furnace and in astonishment said, “Did we not cast three men into the fire? Behold, I see four, and one is like unto the Son of God.” Trust in God means help is on its way.
We need not expect God and Jesus to keep us from distress. They want to sustain us through it. They want to make our load lighter. The pains and distresses of life will be much more bearable when we reach the point of trusting God in the flames.