August 23

Look! … 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. Daniel 3:25

King Nebuchadnezzar was here describing what he saw – that the three men he had thrown, bound with ropes, into the fiery furnace were now free and unharmed and in the presence of God’s Son. Later, when the men came out of the fire, there was not even the smell of smoke on them nor was their hair singed! The same fire that had burnt the ropes that bound them had not harmed them at all. The lesson is clear: when we pass through fires of temptation or trial, those fires will deliver us from all kinds of bondage, and yet will not damage our inner character. We pray for deliverance and the activity of God’s Spirit upon us, but we little realise that God’s answer may be to allow us to enter into fires. When pain, suffering, imprisonment or other trials afflict us, we often forget the troublesome areas of our lives that so preoccupied us. But as we come through the trial, we realise later that we are no longer as negative as we were, nor so prone to depression or unbelief. Sometimes it is downright lustful thoughts that have been purged from us while we were in the midst of the flames. Cords of bondage are burnt up, and at the same time we enter into the greatest gift of all that comes through our trials – we are more conscious than ever of Jesus, and through Him we are more whole than we could ever have imagined possible. Trust God to bless and keep you through the worst of circumstances. He is working more than you know.