Daniel 4

Have you ever seen the picture of the egg and potato and the caption says that the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg? It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.
The same is true for us as believers. We find out quickly what’s on the inside of people when difficulty, trials, and temptations arise.

A Theology of Temptation

          1 Peter 2:18-20
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

It’s strange if you’re not going through a trial. It’s strange if you aren’t being tempted. These things are the norm of the Christian life. If you recognize the temptation and take that thought captive to the Lord Jesus Christ you are all good and have overcome the temptation. However, if you dwell on it and think about it, that’s where the trouble begins.
The famous account of the three men in the fiery furnace shows men who stood by their convictions even in the midst of a literal fire. When testing, trials, or temptation comes your way will you stand by your convictions?

The Story

The statue was made 16 years after Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. It represented the defeat of the God of Israel. It was also overlaid with gold that suggested a forever kingdom. All had to bow down to it but the three men refused to because they obeyed the command to not worship false gods.

Deuteronomy 5:8-10
‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

          The king threw the men into the furnace but the men did not burn because they were joined by one with the appearance of deity, the preincarnate Christ. The Lord delivered the men from the flames to demonstrate His power to Nebuchadnezzar.

          3 Lessons from the Fiery Furnace

  • The Lord is sovereign, whether the result of our obedience is triumph or tragedy.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed the Lord was in control of their situation regardless of whether or not he delivered them from the fire. The Lord doesn’t promise to spare us from all struggles but he does promise that he will bring good out of every situation.

  • Suffering is necessary, even when it seems unfair.
The three Jewish believers were persecuted for doing what was right. The situation wasn’t fair but it could be used for good. The Lord used the fire in the furnace to burn away the cords just like he uses the heat of adversity and trial to remove sin from our lives and transform us into the image of Christ.

  • Our tests become powerful testimonies that speak to the godly and ungodly in ways our words never could.
As a result of the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar became interested in and gained respect for the God of Israel.

If you’re in a fire today, know that Jesus is with you. If you don’t believe that, you don’t have hope.
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.

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