July 29

July 29

Daniel’s Three Friends & the Fiery Furnace — The fiery furnace & fiery trials in our lives.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Daniel 3

Reading 2: Isaiah 48:10-11

Reading 3: 1 Peter 4:12-14

Did you know that sometimes promotion leads to hardship? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were placed over the province of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, but when the power-crazed king set up a statue and commanded everyone to bow down to it, the Jewish men could not comply. Their allegiance is to God, not to idols. This led to extreme hardship for them as the other officials (who were presumably jealous of their position) betrayed them to the king, and the king flew into a rage.

But when hardship comes, God is already in control. We would have been focused on praying that we would not be thrown into the fire; these three were instead focused on telling the king the truth – that they would obey God even if it meant their death.

When God shows Himself powerful in the heat of hardship, it can also lead to promotion. The king was so amazed that they survived the furnace without even smelling of smoke that he promoted them to even higher positions!

And Peter tells us that the sufferings we face unite us with Jesus – that is the best news a suffering person can hear!

Have a great day!

Mark.

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