Experiencing God in the Trial

Experiencing God in the Trial

September 10, 2020

We live in a society where many things compete for our attention.
Social media posts often showcase the “many” positive experiences that happen in the lives of those around us. Advertisements often boast how purchasing a particular product will enhance the quality of our life. It’s easy for our minds to become sidetracked with these pursuits, which can eventually become idols that lessen the amount of time we spend seeking the Lord.  There is a familiar story in the book of Daniel that illustrates God’s protection over three men who did not let the demands of a king steal their focus away from the one true God.

Daniel 3:(24) “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” (25)  He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (ESV)

The first seven verses of Daniel 3 describe a statue King Nebuchadnezzar built, and the dedication ceremony at which he demanded everyone worship the golden image. Given Nebuchadnezzar’s social prominence, it seems most everyone was complying with the king’s demands without question. This type of behavior is not foreign to the culture of today. Many do not hesitate to embrace whatever ideas and actions are popular, regardless of the impact those actions have on their relationship with God.

Three Jews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not go along with the crowd. They were even “called out” for their non-compliance. Had social media existed back in those days, I can’t imagine how many people would have chimed in with their “two cents worth!”  When they were brought before the King for questioning, they still did not comply with his demand for idol worship. After the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual, the three men were bound and thrown into the fire. 

Then the King looked into the furnace and witnessed what was impossible: the three Jews were unhurt and walking around, and a fourth man was in the fire with them! The king acknowledged that fourth man as the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — the one true and living God, and decreed that no one speak against Him.

It is never fun to go through the “fires” (trials/temptations) of life, but it’s often during those difficult seasons that it becomes obvious to others that God is the One protecting and sustaining you. No matter what challenges or demands each new day brings, be intentional about making time to worship God. Resolve to filter your actions and reactions through His Word, so your life will be a testimony of His love and faithfulness.

Lord, help me live a life so focused on You that it’s easy for others to see Your heart. No matter who or what demands my attention, I promise to not let distractions turn into idols that rob You of the worship You so greatly deserve. You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory! 
In Jesus’ name — Amen!

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