by Brenda McGraw
Day after day, I walked through the flames of despair and the furnace of death. Death of my marriage. Death of my dreams of “till death do us part.” Despairing flames that burned deep into my soul and heart, which could have destroyed me, but God had a different plan. I walked through the fire with faith.
And so can you.
As we continue talking about faith, we are given so many more situations regarding the faithful followers of the Lord, in Hebrews. Many of the people mentioned were introduced by telling only a snippet of their story. Their names were not alluded to, but we know who they are.
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40
Will you take a couple of minutes and watch this short video called,
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego?
We get a quick You Tube version of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the video today and in Hebrews 11:
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about . . . the prophets, who through faith . . . quenched the fury of the flames.” Vs. 32-34
The three were asked to bow down to a golden image and worship it.
What are we worshiping?
We are daily confronted with situations that we could easily choose to bow down to:
We worship money, material things, our spouses, children, homes and our careers, to name a few. We can even set up idols with the power to destroy us if we allow them to.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were told to bow down to the image, but they refused.
“Their response: ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18
Their refusal led them to the fire, but God protected them while they were in it. They made the right decision and showed their obedience to the Lord. Yet they were still thrown into the furnace.
Why did God not protect them from encountering the fire?
He could have, you know!
He allowed them to experience man’s persecution. King Nebuchadnezzar tried to punish them because they refused to obey him and follow his way instead of God’s way.
There are men and women all over the world who are walking through the fire of persecution for following Christ.
God is still allowing it.
We many times bow down to idols that will lead us to the fire. However, at times we who are attempting to follow Christ and be obedient to the Lord will feel the flames even when we are trying to do what’s right and walk in the ways of the Lord.
Could I have missed the despair of the fiery furnace in my marriage? My thoughts were, “If only he would surrender his life to the Lord and seek to please the Lord, life could be different.”
I then could have avoided the fire of divorce and despair.
Do you think it would have been different if King Nebuchadnezzar had surrendered his life to the Lord before this incident? I am sure that the three guys would have avoided the fire.
However, many times God allows us to walk through flames so the sparks will light up our existence, and reverence to Him. We can walk through the fires of life and our faith will become stronger. Our belief will become real. Without the flames of despair we may not come to trust and love God with a deep and devoted love. When the fire burns us and leaves scars, we will never be the same.
These three men came out of the fire without a mark on their bodies. Not even smelling like smoke. Nonetheless, I am sure they were never the same afterwards.
I am sure they talked about the incident the rest of their lives. They physically met the Lord in the middle of the flames and He protected them from death and further persecution from King Nebuchadnezzar. The king was never the same either.
King Nebuchadnezzar witnessed three men walking out of a blazing furnace. He watched the deliverance of the three he was trying to harm, by the Almighty King, who was much more powerful than he. He was overwhelmed and eventually his sight turned him towards faith.
It was a miracle.
I prayed for a miracle and for God’s glory to show up. I wanted my marriage to be rescued and restored. God chose to allow me to go through the fire and He also met me there. Even though my marriage died, I survived.
We might never understand why we have to experience pain, suffering and the death of dreams. It is hard for our minds to wrap around the idea that God allows these times of suffering for a purpose and will bring good.
God wants us to understand that the trials have come to prove that through the fire, Jesus is revealed.
That is something to rejoice over.
We can have faith through the fire; with the One who revealed what it means to walk by faith, not by sight.
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
I love this story! How about you? Please leave a comment.
Here is a little poem I wrote last year that speaks of “The Furnace.”
Discover Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life, Found out how here.
Brenda McGraw is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller, “Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where she has a team of writers sharing truth and hope with others.
Brenda currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and three of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack.. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
You can connect with Brenda McGraw at:
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