It’s no secret that the last three years have not exactly been a cake walk for us. We have gone through the fire of affliction. We have been tested and tried. Although it has not been comfortable it has been necessary!
As I was reading through my One Year Bible (which I find a great way to read through the Scripture), I came across the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego (seeDaniel 3). Nebuchadnezzar had set up a huge golden idol and commanded everyone to worship it. As usual, someone conspired against the Jews and told the King of their refusal to worship the idol. I guess the pride of some people’s hearts won’t allow them to respond in repentance and humility when they see a God that is superior to their own false ones.
The King was furious, had the furnace heated 7 times hotter than usual (7 is the number of completion in the bible), and tossed into the fire the renegade advisors only to find they would not burn! Nebuchadnezzar himself exclaims, “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” (seeDaniel 3:25).”
In amazement, the King realizes his folly and tells them to come out. Although the fire burned up even the guards who tossed them in, it didn’t singe one single hair on the Jewish boys heads, and their clothes carried not the faintest smell of smoke.
As I pondered this story for a moment, I actually began to laugh out loud. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, This has prophetic meaning for you. You have gone through the fire of affliction for the last three years but I’m taking away every effect it may have had on you and you will have no lingering effects whatsoever!
The lessons we learned in the fire will never be forgotten, but any burns or “smoke damage” have been prevented. Not that we have walked through it perfectly, but when you go through the fire with integrity of heart the Lord can keep you from lasting damage.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV In this you rejoice (our imperishable inheritance of salvation), though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This helps give us perspective in our trials, knowing that the outcome of the trial is for His good and ours!