Beat Poet Charles Bukowski wrote, "What matters most is how well you walk through the fire."
How can we have faith when we are facing a trial, temptation, and undergoing suffering? It's especially challenging because whenever we decide to put Jesus first, there are always fears and lies that say that we are going to miss out on something or that God isn't going to take care of us or that we'll end up alone. How do we overcome these fears. Facing the decision to either bow to an idol or face the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have double-handed faith as they answer Nebuchadnezzar. On one hand, they believe God is all powerful and able to deliver them from the fire (Daniel 3:17). On the other hand, they say that if it is God's will that they suffer, they know God will use it as witness to the watching world (3:18).
Jesus displays this double-handed faith when he prays before his arrest in Gethsemane, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will" (Matt 26:39). Jesus models for us that faith doesn't come from suppressing your fear but from bringing your fear to God in prayer. And we see God's double-handed faithfulness to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by not only delivering them through the fire unharmed (Dan 3:27), but by walking through the fire with them (Dan 3:24-25). And because of Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection, know this: Jesus has suffered for us and taken the fire of our sin and shame on himself. So if you are living in the shame of sin, turn right now to Jesus and receive his forgiveness and love. But not only that, Jesus has promised to always be with us in every season of suffering (Isaiah 40:1-5, Matt 28:18-20). So know that you are never alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to Jesus with you in the trial. What matters most is not how well you walk through the fire. What matters most is who has walked through the fire for you and who is walking through the fire with you.
Taking It Home:
What trial are you facing this week? Set aside 5 minutes in the morning, in the car, or as you go to sleep and bring your fears to Jesus and rest in the truth that He is with you.