Trust is a furnace. It burns off the selfish insistence for the “now!” response from God. It burns off all of the “what if He doesn’t” anxieties. Trust transforms the soul to rest in the sovereignty of God.
Shadrach’s, Meshach’s and Abednego’s story is a Sunday school favorite. What student of the Word fails to experience the drama of the burning furnace with three men thrown to their potential death? The resolve of these men to honor God, and only Him, prescribed the furnace of testing.
Gethsemane depicts another furnace. Incarnate Jesus, who came in the form of a Man, anguished the same crucible as He rendered His will to the Father’s above His own. He would gladly have forfeited “this cup;” yet, He humbly yielded to the redemptive plan wrapped in the long, perilous journey to His death.
Two stories ~ one Old Testament and one New Testament ~ reveal the fiery flames of trust. Would Father God fulfill His promise? The three men in the fire trusted Him, whether He would or would not.
Daniel 3:17-18: “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.”
Our crucible is in the trusting. We ask: Will healing come? Will the prodigal child be reached by our loving God? Will the bank account be restored? Will the marriage ever be the same again? The furnace of trust burns fiercely. “Even if He does not…” If our answer does not appear in the ‘now’… If He doesn’t answer ‘as we wish,’ or is hindered because of man’s stubborn will … will I exit the furnace victoriously, still trusting?
The three men had been bound “in their trousers, their coats, their caps, and their other clothes” [vs 21]. The king exclaimed, “Look! I see four men LOOSED and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm…” [vs. 25] All they lost ~ the only ashes remaining at the bottom of that furnace ~ was that which had once had them bound.
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