Praising Through the Fire
Updated: Jul 25, 2018
Learning how to praise God through the difficult times in life can lead to miraculous encounters with Him in unlikely situations.
Being in the fire is not my favorite season. I'm usually trying to bulldoze my way through it. I like acing things so I don't have to repeat things unnecessarily. I don't mind a good review. I've never been a fan of a redo. Recently, I was encouraged to read Daniel 3, the account of the Fiery Furnace. The prayer partner sensed that I had been in the fire several times, and I didn't understand it; but Jesus was in the fire. I would encounter Him in that time of refining.
I've been reading Daniel 3. Different things have stood out this week. Today, what really stood out to me was how I needed to be grateful for the fire. The takeaway lesson from my prayer session was the refining process. Refining is a good thing. I'd rather endure the fire than to remain unrefined. No good can come from remaining a certain way. There's always room for growth. I'm convinced that to be effective in this walk will require refinement.
Several keys to surviving the fire include the following:
Don't believe the lie that you're alone in the fire. Verse 25 of the account says that even though three men had been thrown in the fire, Nebuchadnezzar could perceive a fourth--Jesus.
Don't fight the fire. I recall a visual aid from Sunday school in my youth. It showed Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego praising God in the fire. Almost 30 years later, I remember this image.
When you stand up for righteousness and truth, He is there for you. I'm reminded of Jesus's words in Matthew 10:32-33: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Jesus showed up in the furnace because Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stood up for the Lord and against an idol.
We may not encounter golden images today, but we certainly come up against idols and strongholds that seek to entice us to compromise our faith. What I'm saying is that this was not a ONE time battle. It continues. We will have to face situations where we buck up against the majority to stand for God. We might even feel like we're alone in our stance. I urge you to be courageous, even if you're standing apart from your teammates. Idols can creep up in the most unlikely of places. Remember, if you take a stand for Jesus, He will certainly take a stand for you.
The most important lesson is that He is a good God. The fire He leads us to is for our own growth and good. It's not a fire of destruction. Praise Him when it's hot!