When the fire has no power

Daniel 3:27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

There was nothing shocking about these three men being thrown into the fire. It was just another means of execution. But even the king couldn’t help but notice how they walked in that fire and who walked with them.

The fact that the fire had no effect upon them drew the attention of those around them. And while these three men were inspected and their condition considered, God received the glory.

Daniel 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!

When we go through life’s trials the same way the world does, it draws no attention and brings God no glory.

Some people bear the marks of the fire through the rest of their lives. They spend much time describing its heat and displaying their scars. And it is the fire that gets the glory.

Followers of Jesus are called to a different way. Even in our trials and suffering we are to set our mind on things above (Colossians 3:2)

The fire may be able to touch our outer man at times, but it can only touch our inner man to the extent we yield ourselves to it.

Consider how these three men conducted themselves and how this might apply to us and the fires we walk through:

Daniel 3:25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

They were not bound up and hindered and stifled in life because of the fire. They were not paralyzed or immobilized because of the fire. They weren’t damaged by the fire. They didn’t come out so traumatized that they were unable to even toast marshmallows again. And it was perceptible to all who looked on that they were not alone. The presence of Jesus in the fire with them was unmistakable.

It is never easy to go through a fiery trial, but if your life finds you in a particular furnace at the moment, don’t let it be wasted. Walk through that fire in such a way that when you come out on the other side, people will marvel at the gracious God who brought you through.

Invitations to glory

It is a fact of life that trouble comes to all.  To the rich and poor, the proud and humble, the young and old.  No one is exempt.

“Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”  Job 5:7

With each new difficulty we are given the opportunity to choose our response to it.  What will we do in the day of trouble?  This is a question of great importance.  I love this quote by Hannah Whitall Smith:

We may make out of each event in our lives either a Juggernaut car to crush us, or a chariot in which to ride to heights of victory. It all depends upon how we take them; whether we lie down under our trials and let them roll over and crush us, or whether we climb up into them as into a chariot, and make them carry us triumphantly onward and upward.

2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that “our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Each difficulty presented, each sorrow to be endured, each gut-wrenching choice of obedience that must be made, they are invitations to glory.  In each new challenge, an opportunity to die a little bit more to ourselves and to become more alive to who He is.  Suddenly, our own comfort, even our own personal desires and happiness are no longer as important as they once seemed to be.

We are invited to glory.

This changes everything.