The third chapter of Daniel tells of the time when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. I am sure you all know the story but there is a part of this that is a blessing and encouragement to me each time I read it. In 3:17 these men tell the king that the God they serve is able to deliver them from the furnace and will deliver them out of the king's hand. But verse 18 says, "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." They are going to serve God, no matter what. Do we have that same faith and trust today in our love for God? Are we willing to take a stand to serve God no matter what golden image is put before us? Am I willing to face the fire if need be? I know God can bring me through the fire, but will He? I believe God will do one of two things. He will either bring me through the fire or He will bring me out of it. He will walk with me through the fire and we will emerge together or He will take me out of the fire and home to Glory with Him.

I may never have to face this fiery trial. God may call me home before the fire comes. But I want to be ready if it does. I want my faith to be strong enough to carry me through. I will exercise and strengthen my faith at every opportunity. Then if the fire comes I can say, "No, you keep your golden image. I'll take my God and the fire." Can I do it? Only with God. Then even as verse 30 says that the king promoted these men, God has promised that the reward of Heaven awaits us, after the fire.

There are blessings even in the fires.

Note: Published in the Countryside Church bulletin on Oct. 5, 2014.