Comfort in Affliction – Part 3
“So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:26-30 NIV
God is good. He was good to Daniel thousands of years ago. He was good to Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-nego thousands of years ago. He is good to His people today. He is good to me today.
In the last few devotions, we learned about a promise we would rather not have – God’s promise of persecution. There are times persecution will come when we are faithful to God and standing strong in Him. There are times that excuses will not cut it. The young Hebrew boys didn’t say to each other, “What’s the big deal? Let’s bow down to the god outwardly, but in our hearts, we’ll be committed to God.” They weren’t persecuted because of their sin or because they did something wrong. It was a promise from God, though an unwanted one. We then learned about God’s promise of protection… whether on this side of eternity or the next, we learned that God is our protector. He may not remove us from the fire, but we can rest assured He goes through the fires with us.
1 – God promises Persecution
2 – God promises Protection
3 – God promises Promotion
In this devotion, we learn about God’s promise of promotion.
When God uses Fire to Promote Us
The fire revealed that God’s presence with them.
It is interesting that the fourth person in the fire, namely Jesus, was only revealed when they boys were in the fire. Most often, people see Jesus NOT when believers are taking it easy, have everything under control, and are hanging out talking stories. Most often, people see the Lord when believers endure the fires of life.
Non-believers are not impressed by Christians who bow down to the gods of our culture. They are impressed when they see us going through the fires without a spirit of fear, panic, or anger. They are impressed when they peer into the fire of our lives and realize that there is Someone in there with us.
If I got to speak to them, I’d have a question for Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-nego. I wonder if they saw Jesus in the fire. It was clear that King Nebuchadnezzar saw the fourth person in the fire. It was clear to the onlookers that God was with them in the fire, but I wonder if the three Hebrew boys saw Jesus in the fire with them.
There are times that we go through fiery trials in life and we struggle to see the Savior ourselves. Although others might recognize God’s presence in our lives, I think it can be hard to see God at work right next to us at times. I wonder if they saw Him. I wonder if they recognized His presence with them.
The fire glorified God before others resulting in promotion.
Fiery trials that we face provide a powerful testimony to skeptical, angry people who don’t want to believe in God. When like King Nebuchadnezzar, others see Jesus in the fire along with us, there is something compelling, encouraging, and life-transforming about it. When you go through fiery trials, they watch you and it is in those fires, your neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, and friends are able to see Jesus with you most clearly.
Having the integrity of the Hebrew boys did not keep them out of the fire, it just kept them from smelling like smoke. It didn’t just protect them in the fire, it convicted those around them. Nebuchadnezzar repented when he witnessed the integrity of the three boys.
The end of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego’s story find the king promoting them because he seen Jesus in the fire. Their experience brought glory to God before others. Some might see promotion as God giving position, honor, and wealth. Promotion to the three young Hebrew boys was that God would be glorified before others.
Christian brothers and sisters catch the lessons we can learn from these three young men. Take these lessons to heart. If you missed everything else from this chapter, be sure you catch these lessons.
1 – Pray less for safety, and more for courage.
2 – Give greater attention to the Protector of your life rather than the problems in life.
3 – Let the fires reveal God’s presence in your life.
Lord I pray less for safety and more for courage. Lord grant that I would have the courage of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-nego – whatever You desire, wherever You lead. I turn my attention to You Lord. Forgive the many times I become too focused on my problems rather than on You as my protector. Let the fires come. Be glorified in my life, Lord Jesus. Be glorified before others through me.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.