Daniel 3:17-25 and Hebrews 13:5-6
In the late 1800s there was a Christian minister living in England. His name was Charles Spurgeon; but he was such a gifted speaker that he came to be known as “the Prince of Preachers”. Not many people know that his wife was terribly ill and for a very long time she was confined to her bed. She struggled much with her suffering, wondering what good it was since she wished to be out serving God more effectively. One day when she was particularly troubled she was lying on a bed in front of the fireplace that warmed the room. It felt as if her heart was breaking when suddenly the silence in the room was broken by the cracking of an oak log burning in the hearth. She heard a soft clear musical note. It was so beautiful that at first, she thought it was a bird outside her window, but then she realized it had come from the log itself. It was as if the fire had brought forth hidden music from the log!
She imagined perhaps this tree had saved up this song for years and the long-forgotten melody had been sealed up until liberated by the heat and the fire! She began to think that perhaps she was like that old log and that God could use her fiery trial to bring forth a song of praise to Him even in the midst of it all.
The Scripture tells us in Daniel chapter 3 about three young men during the Babylonian captivity who faced a fire of their own: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar had ordered everyone in the kingdom to bow before a golden image he had erected on the Plain of Dura, but these three men chose to disobey the king’s command. Knowing that the punishment for their disobedience was that they be thrown into a fiery furnace, the men respectfully told Nebuchadnezzar: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, … but even if He does not we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
The king was furious at their decision and had the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. The three men were then bound and thrown inside – even their executioners perished from the incredible flames! Amazingly, verse 25 tells us that as Nebuchadnezzar looked into the flames, he saw not three but four men “walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed”. Approaching the opening of the furnace, the king called the men to come out; and when the three did, they were found totally unharmed! Not a hair on their head was singed; their robes were not scorched; and there was not even the smell of fire upon them, causing everyone to praise the God they served!
Now I do not know the circumstances of your suffering; but I do know that this passage teaches us that though we may go into a fiery trial bound up with the cares of life upon us, we will come out “unbound and unharmed” in the end. Christ will be with us in our distress for He has said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So, we say with confidence: The Lord is my helper I will not be afraid...” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
And like these three young men thousands of years ago in Babylon and like Mrs. Spurgeon in 19th century England, our experience of Him in our sufferings of the moment will bring forth a sweet melody of praise in our own lives.
May God bless you!