August 27, 2018

Facing the Fiery Furnace

Wes Sheley

There have been times in life where situations have seemed so big that I could not see anything else in front of me. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. It is the things that consume your thoughts, make it difficult to pray, worship, work, sleep, and just enjoy life. There have been many times in my life that I have found myself there - church issues, cancer in the family, my wife’s MS, my mom passing away, my kids hurting, just to name a few. It is so easy to let life situations weigh us down; however, what would happen if we were to approach these obstacles the same way Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego approached the fiery furnace?
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego has always amazed me. Here is a King that has all the power in his kingdom but wanted so much more. So much so, he created his own God and forced others to worship it. He desired control over every aspect of their lives. We may not have a physical king that tries to control our lives, but we have situations that can easily slip in and take control. It is these situations that can cripple us and drop us to our knees in fear.
We can learn from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel, Chapter 3, by how they approached King Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace.

“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)
I can’t help but wonder if we can get to a place where we are no longer looking at our circumstances with fear, but instead with expectancy to see the miracle that is to come. Even in death, we can embrace the miracle that is to come with expectancy and not fear. The next time someone attacks you, think of how God can heal the relationship. When your family is facing financial hardship, go to God with expectancy that He will provide. The doctor gives you or a loved one bad news, go to God with expectancy that healing will take place. When your kids are heartbroken, go to God with expectancy that He will provide strength and healing for their spiritual growth. The next time you experience a loss, grieve with the expectancy that God is grieving with you. So, the next time you face the “fiery furnace,” pray that God will give you the expectancy that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had for the miracle, not the situation.

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