Going Through Fire
As a kid, an adult has probably taught you to respect fire, so you don’t get burned. Humans aren’t designed to go through fire and King Nebuchadnezzar tried to take advantage of this fact. In Daniel 3:8-30 the king wanted to be sure that Hananiah, Mishael, and Meshach would thoroughly be destroyed for not bowing down to the golden image he had made*. Thus, he ordered the furnace to be made with flames seven times hotter than normal. It became so hot that it overheated and killed the people that escorted Hananiah, Mishael, and Meshach into the furnace. These three men did not know whether they would live or die, but they knew that God was the only one who could deliver them.
Children of God commonly think of His deliverance as something that would keep them from the flames. This is natural because anyone would not want to go through sad and painful experiences if they can be avoided. Yet, God loves us so abundantly that He delivers us through the flames, rather than from them. As Nebuchadnezzar stated in Daniel 3:29, “…there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way (ESV)”. God is not allowing us to get hurt by the flames even though we are walking through them. 1 Peter 6-7 explains that our trails are a temporary pain that is used to refine our souls and ultimately allow us to bring glory to God.
Habitually taking the time to turn to God during a trial is a goal that every child of God should be striving to achieve. Job and king David faced two vastly different trials. Job went through trials that refined his faith, but David went through disciplinary trials that led to redemption. Yet the defining commonality between them is that they both turned to God. Looking back on past trials, the intent was to knock us down, weaken our self-esteem, and get us to lose our faith. Relying on God’s strength allows any child of His to center their mind toward the wisdom that comes from Heaven (Col.3 :1-3). Ingraining this truth into your heart reaffirms that you are invaluable to God. When presented with a fiery furnace situation, will you choose to lean on the truth and love He has for you as His child?
*Hananiah, Mishael, and Meshach are the given Hebrew names for the men renamed by the Babylonians to be Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.