I have always been fascinated by the example of Daniel. He was a righteous young man who followed hard after God. He prayed and studied to know God. (Dan. 1:8, Eze 14:20, Dan 9:2, 10:11)
There is so much we can learn from him, but recently I was reminded of how Daniel and his friends faced seemingly impossible circumstances.
Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego angered Nebuchadnezzar because of their faith, so he threw them in the furnace. The furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual. But God was with them and they were able to step out of the fire unharmed. (Dan 3:19-28)
Later because Daniel would not obey the order of the king he was arrested and thrown into the den of lions. But God was with him and the next morning when the king looked Daniel didn’t have a scratch on him. (Dan 6:16-21)
These men had incredible faith in God. They trusted Him. They were not afraid because they knew that their God would rescue them. I love the way Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king when he asked who would save them. Their reply was "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire ; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Dan 3:17-18)
Daniels trust of God is clearly shown when he said “My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me…” (6:22) without a doubt Daniel knew who had rescued him from certain death.
Today we may not be thrown into a den of hungry lions or a hot furnace, but daily we face trials. As I watch the news and follow the growing intolerance of Christ followers I realize the day is approaching when it will not be hard to imagine that we will persecuted for our faith. I believe a time is quickly coming that American Christians will find themselves in prison and possibly facing death for standing up for what they believe, just as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
I pray we are prepared. We need the assurance that these men had in their God. They knew God would deliver them. Look at Daniel 3:17-18 again. These men believed that God would deliver them FROM the fire. But look at what else they say? Even if God doesn’t deliver them from it they knew that they would still be delivered right into the hand of God. If they died they still saw it as deliverance.
There is one more thing we see as we look at the lives of these men. God will walk you through whatever you are facing right now.
In Chapter 3 starting at verse 24 we see King Nebuchadnezzar astounded as he says, "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire ?" … "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!" Not only did God deliver them from it but He walk with them.
Oh Dear sisters, this should be such an encouragement to us!
As this world grows darker and spirals down deeper into sin we must cling to our faith, knowing that God will deliver us. God will not leave us to be persecuted for our faith, He promises that He will be with those whose heart are fully His.
May we be like Daniel who was righteous and followed hard after God. My we long to know God through His word. And may we stand firm in the midst of facing the fire with the knowledge that our God will deliver us from it. He will walk us through it or He will deliver us right into the Father’s arms.
Father help us to stand strong in our faith and our trust of you, O Sovereign Lord.
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