If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

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…God will provide you the strength to endure it.

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“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13

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Ever face a very tough choice?

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The weight of the world on your shoulders, and you know exactly what you have to do.

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But you’re scared. Because you can’t face it alone.

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But you’re not alone. Listen: in the book of Daniel, we meet Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. King Nebecusnezzer commanded them to worship his idols, but they refused when everyone else bowed down. “Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”” -Daniel 3:13-15

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Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Perhaps some future day Lord, Thy strong hand will lead me to a place where I must stand utterly alone. Alone, O gracious Love but for Thee; I shall be satisfied if I can see- Jesus only. I do not know Thy plans for years to come. My spirit finds its perfect home sufficiency. Lord, all my desire is before Thee now, Lead on, no matter where, no matter what– I trust Thee.”

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Just three young guys trying to follow God’s command, and now they find themselves looking into the flaming face of death and burning pain. What would you do?

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“Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”” -Daniel 3:16-18

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This made king Nebuchadnezzar so mad, that he instantly  ordered the three to be tied up and thrown into the fiery furnace. Since it was such a spontaneous thing, the furnace was extra hot– so much so that it scorched the men who carried the three to the furnace, so that they died.

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But what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego?

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“these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” –Daniel 3:23-25

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“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.” -Daniel 3:26-30

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The choice is clear when you know Whose side you’re on. He will be with you in the flames. When you’re in the midst of suffering, remember that “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.” -1 Peter 2:21.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for The Lord your God goes with you.” Think about those words. The LORD GOES WITH YOU.

 

“Ponder anew! What the Almighty will do! If in His love, He befriend thee!” (“Praise to The Lord, the Almighty” hymn)

 

Is your anchor in Christ, or are you building a house on sinking sand? Trust in Him today.

 

-Abigail

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