Firewalk With God
By Silas Blodgett
“‟But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning,
fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?‟ Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, „O, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you
in this matter. If that is the case, our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning
fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O
king, that we do not serve your gods nor will we worship the gold image which you have set
up.‟” (Daniel 3:15b-18). When we as Christians must suffer through the inevitable trials and
afflictions of this life, it is our duty to rejoice and genuinely thank God for the opportunities
brought about by those trials. We must rejoice since suffering results in growth, the Bible
commands us to endure hardships with joy, and when compared to our eventual, eternal
glorification, our sufferings really are quite insignificant and petty.
The first reason to rejoice is the fact that affliction leads to growth. James 1:2-3 says,
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your
faith produces patience.” As the blacksmith applies just enough heat to temper and therefore
strengthen a length of steel to make it useful, so the Lord uses trials in our lives to strengthen us
as vessels for His glorification. “And we know that all things work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” -- Romans 8:28.
Secondly, Christians are commanded to suffer hardships and stand strong when the day
of adversity arrives. 2 Timothy 2:3 says, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Of course, if we are to endure these hardships with joy, and not simply with an
attitude of tolerance, we must learn to lean on our omnipresent and omniscient Father. “Cast
your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be
moved.” (Psalm 55:22). “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out
of them all.” (Psalm 34:19). No matter how severe or how much pain you’re going through, our
God promises to take away your burden if you simply allow Him to. Sometimes, we have the
tendency to revel in our own misery, in which case the endurance of hardships will be shallow
and self-centered in nature, which is not in accordance with God’s will. We must not pray for
deliverance from our trials, but for wisdom.
“No one entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who
enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4). Thirdly, and most importantly, this life on earth is
not our own. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we’re not here for personal comfort or satisfaction.
Our beautiful purpose in life is to constantly bring glory to the name of God. When viewed in
this light, and under the shadow of the cross, how truly insignificant are our own trivial
sufferings and complaints! “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to
try you, as though some strange thing has happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you
partake of Christ‟s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with
exceeding joy. …if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God
in this matter.” (1 Peter 4:12-13, 16).
Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego faced their fiery trial knowing they would
either be saved from the furnace or saved into eternal Glory; we too should face our trials with
courage and such confidence in our life’s purpose that in so doing, we joyfully fulfill that very
function and bring glory to the King of kings through our affliction. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.
Reprinted from the Little Corners Newsletter: http://thecomradesofhonorseries.weebly.com/links-and-more.html