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L.O.V.E. (Let Our Voices Encourage) Devotions

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What About When It All Goes Up in Flames?

“There is no other god who can rescue like this!”

Daniel 3:29b


You had a happy marriage.

You were financially secure.

You used to be healthy.

You thought your adult kids loved Jesus.

You had a steady job, steady friends, a steady life … until _________________.

They filed for divorce, the doctor delivered that diagnosis, there were layoffs, or you moved away from everything and everyone you love — and it all went up in flames.

Good news: Three people in the Bible know exactly how we feel.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were handpicked to be trained as top officials in Babylon. They earned the respect of the king and — get this — were well known for being “strong, healthy, and good-looking” (Daniel 1:4, NLT).

Life was going their way!

Until King Nebuchadnezzar built a 90-foot statue with a clear message: Bow or burn. With a flaming furnace in full view, “all the people … bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue” (Daniel 3:7).

Well, all except three.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood tall, and as the king offered a second chance to bow low, we hear our guys drop this truth bomb:

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

The king’s face “distorted with rage” (Daniel 3:19), which clues us in that this did not go over well. And with a singular order from Nebuchadnezzar, these three rebels were bound and thrown into the fire.

WAIT, WHAT?

I know. Seems a bit unfair, doesn’t it? They stayed faithful to God and strong in their convictions … yet they were punished for it? It all literally went up in flames? Hold up — where was God? (And does anyone know how to file a fire-insurance claim?)

“But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, ‘Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?’ ‘Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,’ they replied. ‘Look!’ Nebuchadnezzar shouted. ‘I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!’” (Daniel 3:24-25).

Do you see it? It was only in the fire that the king could see God’s glory.

Here’s the deal: As easy as it is to sing God’s praises after the answered prayer, what if the call is actually to hold fast in faith before the answer comes? What if we wait expectantly for our Savior to save even when the flames are hot around our marriage, kids, finances and health? Ultimately, God can display Himself through the blaze so that those watching can see Him.

Since God was the same yesterday as He is today, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28), we can confidently stand in the fires of life, knowing help is always on the way for us too.

When that day comes for us, maybe those like King Nebuchadnezzar will finally see the Lord's power for themselves and, with eyes bugged out, declare, “There is no other god who can rescue like this!” (Daniel 3:29b).

Who knows? Maybe that was the whole point all along …

God, thank You for Your faithful presence in the fire. In the heat of it all, I trust in You — please make Yourself known. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


J
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