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.

Daniel 3: 17

 

Let’s look at the story of the three young Israelite men and their confrontation with Nebuchadnezzar over surrendering their values and worshiping idols. Note the two statements of truth that they set out here. First is the recognition of where real power exists in the fact that the Lord is completely capable of doing anything that He wills to do. There is no power on this earth or in the spiritual realm that is greater than His; for all forces of nature and everything that people might choose to do are under God’s total sovereignty. He willed it all into existence, and He can control any of it at any moment. The second truth is that regardless of the outcome of the situation that we are facing, Christ is victorious over all aspects of evil, and the Lord will retrieve everyone who desires to be saved from its grasp.

 

However, as the story unfolds, an even greater truth than these is revealed about living in a state where the peace and the joy that God promises to His children are fully realized. Note what the young men say next, “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.” Daniel 3: 18 Their willingness to follow God totally and to do what is right in His eyes has nothing to do with the immediate outcome of their actions. They see that true righteousness is found in knowing God intimately, in seeking to do His will consistently, and in trusting the Lord to be faithful to His promise to never leave us and to always protect us. Physical pain, emotional turmoil, and even death are all small inconveniences in comparison to standing tall as one who brings light into the darkness of this world.

 

Faith in God means that I can honestly face my fears and my apprehensions, that I know that hard and painful things will be a part of my life, and that I am choosing to prepare for these eventualities by staying close to God and by continually seeking to know Him better. Then, when life does threaten me with the sorts of trials that can cause my heart to shrink and my hands to tremble, my mind is prepared to recall all of the wondrous love that my Savior has for me, and my heart is encouraged to lead me to stand firm in my trust in the Lord. Even the harshest of events in this world are little more than an opportunity for me to grow closer to my Lord and to demonstrate the validity of His Gospel of life to those around me. Death itself is nothing more than the prelude to eternity and to unceasingly dwelling in the presence of God.

 

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