I have often wondered what it would have been like to watch Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were thrown into the fiery furnace. They were engulfed in flames but not touched. Not a hair on their heads was singed and they didn’t even smell of smoke. The witnesses observed that “the fire had not any power over the bodies of those men.” (Daniel 3:27) It would have been a shocking, breathtaking, life-altering sight.
We can witness that same phenomenon ourselves when we see Christians who suffer in their own fiery furnaces yet are not destroyed. The fire has no power over them either. They emerge from the flames more resilient, with greater joy and a stronger faith. They love God more, not less, when their health, their livelihoods, and even their very lives are taken.
We will never fully know why God allows the flames, but in this life we can see a small piece of what God is doing.
Reading that God is a comforter is not the same as knowing the comfort of God. Understanding that God is a deliverer is vastly different from experiencing his deliverance. And knowing that Jesus can save cannot be compared with worshiping him as my Savior.
For me, suffering made God real – pat answers were not enough. Checking off the box for my quiet time didn’t help me. I wanted to taste God’s goodness. To experience his comfort. To sense his presence. So I cried out to God, and when I did, I experienced a life-giving relationship that I had only read about before.
For sufferers, trials make their relationship with God more real and life-giving. For Christians watching other believers suffer, it gives them hope to press on in their own struggles. And for the watching world, it gives them a front row seat to the power of God at work.
When believers walk through the fiery furnace and it has no power over them, their faith is strengthened, onlookers are startled and doubters are converted. And all the glory goes to God. For he alone sustains us in the fire.Vaneetha Risner
I love to read her post! She motivates me to want to know my Savior even deeper! If you missed my new “About Me” post, you can read it here!
Thanks for joining me on this journey! Love and prayers to you all!