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God's Waiting for you in the Fire


How to navigate through fiery trials unscathed.


In today's blog post, God's Waiting for you in the Fire,  I will be talking about a very familiar story, one that took on a whole new meaning for me this go around, and one that shows us how to navigate through fiery trials unscathed.

God's Waiting for you in the Fire


Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king.  Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?  Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.  But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.  Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace.  Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.  And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.

Daniel 3:19-27

One thing did resonate the same with me this read as in previous reads, and that is the great faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Faced with being bound and thrown into a fiery furnace, they did not succumb to the order to worship the golden image and not only did they trust God to deliver them when things seemed dire, they trusted God's will so much that they said even if He DIDN'T deliver them, they would not serve the gods of King Nebuchadnezzar.  That is AMAZING trust in God's faithfulness!  It would appear that they didn't fret one iota!

And so they were tossed into the fire, yet those who set the furnace hotter were consumed by the flames.

But as King Nebuchadnezzar recounted, he saw not just three men walking around in the furnace unbound, but four.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were perfectly fine and when they were called out of the fire, they appeared with no ill effects to their bodies from  the fire.  Their heads were not singed, their cloaks not harmed and no smell of fire was upon them.

Now to dive into these verses a little deeper with the new insight I received this go around.

In researching, it appears that there is not a definitive answer as to whether it was Jesus in the fiery furnace with the three men, but I like to think it was...  Especially in light of the verse...

When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, 
and the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:2b

It's a beautiful word picture of God's faithfulness in the midst of fiery trials.  His provision and protection when all else seems lost is such a comforting vision.

God is indeed right there with us in the fire.

I don't know about you, but too often I bind myself up inside the fire with worry and fear.  How silly is that?!  God is faithful!  He will not allow me to be scorched or the flames to set me ablaze.  Living in the bondage of worry and fear is satan's MO to take our eyes off of our Faithful God.

For it is when we keep our focus on Christ, He will keep us in perfect peace.

You keep Him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on you, 
because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

God will deliver you from the Fire


An additional insight I gleaned was that there was no evidence of fire upon the three men.

How often do we walk around in sack cloth and ashes, so to speak, when we are in a dark season or trial.

Do we walk around defeated, singed by worry and anxiety, especially in the midst of the trial?  Are we so singed, we don't even recognize our faithful God right in front of us?

There is something about smoke that seems to stick with a person.  Whether it be cigarette smoke, a dinner that burned or a campfire, the smell of smoke seems to linger everywhere, especially in our hair until you wash it out.

How amazing that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't smell like smoke!  Can we say that?  Do we carry around the smoke of despair, resentment, and bitterness after a fiery trial?  Or can a person look at us and just see the peace of Christ on our faces that proclaims "She has been with Jesus!"  For by looking at God's faithfulness, the stench of the fiery trial does not permeate our being, but makes us as a sweet smelling aroma.

The same faithful God that delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace unscathed, is the same faithful God who will deliver us.

God doesn't send us into any trial that He isn't already planning on being right there with us.

I saw this quote recently which says...

"Long before Zaccheaus couldn't see Jesus
The tree was already planted to meet His need".

Let us walk in this Truth that our Faithful God WILL meet us in every trial and every need.

EVERY              SINGLE                 ONE!

           For more posts related to God's faithfulness in the midst of anxious seasons,                           please click on the following links:


                                  God's Faithfulness Shines Brightest in the Darkest Hours


                                Expect God in the fire...  He is waiting for you...                                                He will stay right there with you...  He will comfort you...                           He WILL deliver you



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Comments

  1. Oh, I just LOVE this story in the Bible! I get SO much good from it each time I read it. I, personally, believe it truly was Jesus in those flames, and I often think about this-did THEY know He was in there with them? Did THEY see the fourth man in the fire? Or were they so intent on the trial at hand they didn't see or feel His presence? Of course, we have no idea what they were thinking or feeling during that, but I think of how often I do not see or feel Jesus when I am in the midst of a fiery trial. I can often feel so abandoned, when all along HE is walking it with me. Thank you for another edifying, encouraging post, my friend!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, Very thought provoking questions! I never thought of that! Thanks for sharing. :-)

      You are very welcome sweet friend. And thank you for your faithful encouragement. :-)

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  2. That has always been one of my favorite stories. It has so much application to our lives. I love how you mentioned smoke and how it sticks to us. What a great analogy about how we let it color even our perception by others.

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    1. Hi Donna, Indeed it does!

      Thanks so much for your kind words and thanks for stopping by! :-)

      Delete
  3. I wrote about fiery trials in my post this week, too! It is so important to remember that God is with us and will stay by our side, even in the most difficult of circumstances. I loved how you mentioned the lack of smelling smoke near the end of your post. To me that says a lot about the scars we can allow to stay with us. When we focus on God and trust Him in every situation, He will encourage us and give us peace! We won't smell smoke when we are covering ourselves with the sweet aroma of Jesus!

    Blessings, Joan

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    1. Hi Joan, Oh wow!

      Thanks so much for your specific and thoughtful comment. I appreciate it!

      And thanks so much for visiting!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for walking through this story. It's such an amazing reminder that God honors our devotion and shows up in the most unlikely ways!

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    1. Hi Char, You are very welcome!

      Indeed!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  5. I call the 'no evidence of being singed' a state of happy-faced grace. When my husband skated with death, I didn't go around all sad and defeated. I had this strange confidence that whatever happened, it would be ok because God was with me (my husband was miraculously healed). So, I feel I can relate a bit to the three men in the fiery furnace.

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    1. Hi Anita, love that term "happy-faced grace".

      Thanks for sharing your personal insight and about your husband's miraculous healing.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. This was very encouraging, Karen--I loved the reminder that not even the smell of fire was on their clothing--it brings such a vivid understanding to me as I am often scented with smoke--both spiritually and actually!! (we burn a lot here in the Midwest--haha! ). How often do I allow the smell of smoke to linger on my spiritual clothing after a trial rather than trusting the Lord fully and completely--these were such good reminders for me--

    I miss you so much Karen! Sending love from this cold and snowy land :-) --

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    1. Hi Bekki! Praising God you found encouragement here.

      I've heard about those Bekki midwest fires. haha ;-)

      I miss you too! I am sooo looking forward to your ministry prayer updates.

      Sending love right back to you! :-)

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  7. Thank you for sharing this encouragement! Happy that I'm your neighbor at Tune in Thursday!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, You are very welcome! I'm happy you were my neighbor too! :-)

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  8. The common answer to trials has been, at times, "God won't give you more than you can handle," which is pretty unsatisfying for someone who feels as if they've been thrown into the furnace. The real comfort, as you have so beautifully pointed out here is that God may give us a season of singeing, but he's in the furnace with us.

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    1. Hi Michele, Exactly!

      Yes and Amen!

      Thanks for visiting! :-)

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  9. I enjoyed your take on this story from the Bible. This line especially resonated with me: " too often I bind myself up inside the fire with worry and fear". How often have I done the same thing? Oh, to have the faith of these 3 men!

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    1. Hello! Thanks for sharing your own struggle with worry and fear. Indeed, to have the faith of those three men!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  10. Amen, Karen! Loved the thoughts you shared with us in your post today! Let's not carry around any smoke!

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  11. LOVE this "Long before Zaccheaus couldn't see Jesus
    The tree was already planted to meet His need" and the fact that "they didn't smell like smoke". I don't want to "smell like smoke" either. Thanks for the great post. I plan to share it with others.

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    1. Hi Carri, I know! Somebody posted that quote on Facebook and I found it soo profound and encouraging!

      You are very welcome! And thanks so much for sharing with others. I appreciate that! :-)

      Delete

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