Today's Devotional

God With Us in the Fire (11 January)

Then Nebuchadnezzar . . . ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. And he commanded the strongest men in his army to tie the three men up and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up, fully dressed-shirts, robes, caps, and all-and threw them into the blazing furnace. . . . Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, still tied up, fell into the heart of the blazing fire. Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, "Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?" They answered, "Yes, we did, Your Majesty." "Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?" he asked. "They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt-and the fourth one looks like an angel." So Nebuchadnezzar went up to the door of the blazing furnace and called out, "Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Servants of the Supreme God! Come out!" And they came out at once.
Daniel 3:19-27

Daniel's friends persevered in courage and faith, refusing to compromise by bowing down to the golden statue. And yet God did not prevent them from being thrown into the fiery furnace. Instead, he walked with them through the fire. How many times have we prayed for God to take away the difficulties we face? We often don't realize that God's purpose is to help us overcome our trials. During the era of slavery, African Christians in the United States would pray, "Lord, do not remove this mountain in front of us, but give us the power to climb it."

God did not prevent the three friends from going into the fiery furnace, but he walked through it with them. What an experience that must have been! How great is God's faithfulness! Not a single hair on their heads was burned and there was no smell of smoke on them. "Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me." (Psalm 23:4) "When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you." (Isaiah 43:2)

The history of Christianity is full of heroes like these three friends who proclaimed "even if we died we will not compromise." Many were tortured and imprisoned, and some paid the price of their lives for refusing to compromise their faith in Jesus (Hebrews 11:35-38). Let us respectfully remember the heroes of our faith, whom God blessed with the honor of suffering or dying for him.

God's will sometimes allows evil to prevail temporarily, and we may not always understand it, but we can be sure that he will walk through it with us.

- 11 JANUARY -
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