Do you ever wonder why you have to walk through difficult times? It sure would be easier if God just stopped the situation, before it was all uncomfortable and awkward.
It can be excruciating to go through a difficult time. You desperately want to control the outcome, but you cannot control it. Difficult times are humbling. You have to rely on other people, and you realize that you need help. You may even realize that you need God. I did. When I couldn’t fix anything myself, I started reading the bible and praying. I learned something valuable.
When you rely on God, nothing can harm you. You can walk through the most difficult time, and God will get you through it. Sometimes, I think God carried us through our difficult times. It is not always fun or easy. God will get you through it. When you pass through the waters, God will be with you. When you cross the raging rivers, you will not be overtaken. You can walk through fire. You will not get burned. The flame will not scorch you. Going through difficult times, refines you and makes you a better person. You can become more faithful. You can build a better relationship with God. Your journey can be a testimony and inspiration to others. I agree its easier not to walk through difficulties, but walking through them builds perseverance and character.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
–Isaiah 43:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
In the bible, the messages from Daniel still rings true today. The King demanded everyone to worship a false god. Three men would not do it and honored the one true God. The King was outraged and furious. The king told them to worship or be thrown in a fiery furnace. The king demanded to know who would see them now. The men said that God may save them or may not, but they will only worship the one true God.
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
–Daniel 3:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
Does this sound familiar? In society today, we must be so politically correct and do not want to offend anyone. Oh, that is your belief? I respect your beliefs. By respecting and coexisting and being so tolerant, where do our beliefs go? Do they get so watered down that we don’t even know anymore? Do we try and justify select beliefs? Well, I am Christian, but I believe love is love, because I love my friends. I believe we can choose what to do with our bodies. The bible is not a buffet. We don’t get to pick and choose what we want to follow. We do not have to condemn others, but we need to be true to God. We need to try and follow God’s laws, not the ones society has created. When it comes to making a choice, will you bow down to an idol or stand firm in your belief for God? What if you were faced with death?
In the bible, the three men stood firm in their beliefs. They were bound together and cast into a fiery furnace. They fell down in the midst of the fiery furnace. The men who walked them there died, because the heat was turned up 3x higher than usual. That is it. They made their choice. They must have died for their faith. No, not this time. God works in mysterious ways.
The king rose in haste and asked why three men were bound up, and now he saw four men there. The fourth form looks like the son of man.
Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
–Daniel 3:21-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
Sometimes, God uses your difficulties to change hearts. It could be yours or other people. It must be a very powerful experience to see a miracle occur right before your eyes. The fire did not burn a hair on their heads. They walked through fire and were not burned. These three men did not even smell of fire. The flames did not scorch these men, yet killed the men walking them to the furnace. Who wouldn’t fall to their knees praising God?
King Nebuchadnezzar called the three men out of the burning furnace. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
The King declared, “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
–Daniel 3:26-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
The King that threatened to burn you in the fire, if you did not worship a false god, completely changed his decree. After witnessing God in action, the same king vows that anyone who speaks against God, will be cut into pieces and their houses burned to ashes, because no God can deliver like this. God can change hearts and minds.
When you are going through a difficulty, close your eyes and hold firmly to your belief in God. Your situation can be used for God’s glory. God can change the hearts of kings, presidents, authority, anyone and everyone. God can turn around the worst situation and use it for his glory.