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Four Purposes of Fiery Trials

“As sure as ever God puts his children in the furnace, he will be in the furnace with them.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Last week’s post described Shadrach’s, Meshach’s, and Abednego’s loyalty to God. They would not bow down to the king’s false idol; thus, they were thrown into a fiery furnace. We too experience fiery trials, in the forms of an illness, a job loss, or a broken relationship. In reviewing Daniel 3:19-30, I find four purposes our personal furnaces can serve us.

Trials show us they don’t have to affect us negatively. In Daniel 3:27 it says: “the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” Likewise, the trials we experience, have no power over us. Our souls can remain unsinged, unharmed, and without the smell of smoke permeating us.

Trials show us and those who are watching, who God really is and His ability. The King Nebuchadnezzar and his advisers saw the three men in the furnace be unbound and unharmed. God proved He was a deliverer. Today, He still displays His power to save and rescue.

Trials show us what we truly believe about God and ourselves. Adversity makes the lies we believe about God to surface. Trials cause the impurities within our hearts and minds to rise to the top, making themselves evident. It’s God’s kindness to show us our true beliefs as seen by our speech and actions so we can repent and have our relationship with Him be restored.

Trials show us we’re not alone and that God is with us. The king remarked he saw a fourth man walking around in the fire and that he looked like a son of the gods (Daniel 3:25). Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:16-17a: “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength...”

The next time you find yourself in a fiery furnace, watch how these four purposes play out in your life. See how trials can have no power or negative effect over you, observe and rejoice in God’s ability to deliver, become aware of your true beliefs about who God is, and give God thanks for His presence since you never have to experience trials alone.

“Fiery trials make golden Christians.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Relevant Reflections:

  1. If you’re currently in a trial, who is God showing Himself to be to you and to those who are watching?

  2. Describe a time when you experienced no ill effects from your fiery furnace.

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