Through The Fire


The Bible tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust alike, meaning that times of trouble and trials are bound to come to everyone regardless of whether your walk with the Lord is strong, or whether you have no walk at all. Even still, believers who have a relationship with the Lord should know that when trials do come, and if God calls us to persevere through the trail instead of delivering us, he is walking right by our side through the fire. We don’t have to walk through it alone. We only need to trust him. King Nebuchadnezzar learned that lesson when he decided to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fiery furnace for not worshiping an image of gold that he’d set up. It says in Daniel chapter 3, verse 25:

“He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’”

Earlier, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proclaimed that whether God chose to deliver them or not, they would never bow their knee to the image of gold. They recognized the sovereignty of God, desiring his will above their own, still having faith that he’d deliver them. Likewise, we should also pray in faith that God will deliver us, while at the same time knowing that he is God and may have a plan that is different than our desires. In the case of these three, God allowed them to be thrown in the fire, but he was right there with them all along. In the midst of their trial, God was not far away, he didn’t watch from a distance, he was right there with them. I believe that when we go through trials and are crying out to God, whatever he decides our fate to be, he is right there with us. Do you believe that today?


God has the power to deliver us from any situation - even if it is a trial of our own making. When we call out to God, our job is to have faith, not only to believe that he will deliver us, but also to trust that he is God and that his ways are higher than our ways. Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered the way we’d want. Sometimes, God chooses for us to walk through the fire instead of helping us to avoid it. When that happens, don’t lose heart. God ultimately saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but not before they were thrown into the fire. When you’ve prayed and still see yourself heading for destruction, does your faith waver? I encourage you to keep your eyes on God. Whatever your fate, God is in control. Put your trust in him. Whether you are delivered, or whether you have to walk through the fire, trust that God sees what we cannot see, and that he is right there with you in the midst of it all.

Highly Esteemed


I always perk up when I read something from scripture that gives me a glimpse into the spirit world. And if I happen to learn an important lesson along the way, well, that’s all the more intriguing. In Daniel 9:23 we find these words: 

“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:”

This verse comes after Daniel was earnestly praying for the Israelites. It says that while he was still in prayer, the angel Gabriel came to him in swift flight. Then Gabriel tells him that as soon as he began to pray an answer was given. So, God knew what he needed before he even asked. Then Gabriel tells him that he is highly esteemed – referring to how he is viewed in the heavenly realm. Wouldn’t it be incredibly humbling and exhilarating to hear that you are highly esteemed by God? Then Gabriel goes on to share with him the meaning of a vision Daniel had. I’m convinced that God shares stories about men like Daniel so that we can see what pleases him, and so that we can aspire to be like these people. The Bible says that Daniel was highly esteemed. I’m sure that every believer would want that to be said of them by God. To have a vision, to be visited by an angel, and to be told that he is highly esteemed wasn’t necessarily the best part of Daniel’s day. In the end, he had his prayers answered as well, as Gabriel explained his vision. I encourage you to read the book of Daniel to see how he lived. And in the process, you’ll learn why he was considered “highly esteemed” in the eyes of God. Then ultimately, you and I can begin to pattern our life after his example.


There are dozens of men and women of the Bible whom God esteemed. David was a man after God’s heart. Moses and Noah were the most humble men of their time. Elisha was taken up to heaven without even tasting death. As believers, we can look at the lives of people like these to learn the secret of how they gained such high esteem in God’s sight. And when we find that out, we can incorporate those virtues, practices and behaviors in our own life.


God Rescues


Faith in God means everything. Faith is basically trust. Do you trust God? Do you trust that he listens to your prayers? Do you trust in his sovereignty and his authority to answer them in his way and in his timing? Do you believe that he is powerful enough to intervene on your behalf no matter how impossible things may seem? Well, I’m here to tell you that it all starts with faith. It all starts with our trust in the only one who can rescue us when we are in trouble. Daniel knew that as it says in chapter 6, verse 16:

"So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, 'May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!'”

And if you know the story of Daniel, you’ll know that God does rescue him miraculously by shutting the mouths of very hungry lions, saving Daniel’s life in a way that defies the laws of nature. Please believe that God listens to your prayers and that he has the power to do the impossible. He knows what you’re going through, but it comes down to faith. Do you trust him? The bible warns us about not having faith. It tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, and if we doubt we are like a reed blown by the wind. No, we need to have solid faith. And the bible tells us that we gain faith by reading his word.


God knew Daniel’s faith and saved him in a miraculous way. If you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo, you’ll remember that he miraculously saved them also from being burned in a fiery furnace. But in knowing God’s sovereignty, they said that “God can save us, but even if he doesn’t we will not worship the image of gold”. We need to remember that not all of our prayers will be answered in the way that we want or expect. They knew that in God’s sovereignty he could choose to let them die, but that fact didn’t weaken their faith. I encourage you to always pray in faith and to trust God no matter what the situation. We see with our own human eyes, but God sees the entire picture. Trust that he knows best, trust that he has immense love for you, and trust him to take control.



I am so thankful for God’s word. We get to read about how other believers lived and how God related to them. We learn what they did wrong so that we can hopefully avoid it, and we learn what they did right so that we can hopefully emulate it. But they all have one thing in common. With the exception of Jesus, all of the people in the bible are only human - which is good because then we can relate to them. Daniel was a person in the old testament who at one point cried out to God on behalf of the Israelites. He knew that his people had strayed and that they needed to repent. So, he took it upon himself to pray to God in chapter 9 verses 4 through 5 which says:

"I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: 'O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.'”

This is only a portion of his prayer, but I think you get the idea. This prayer could be a template for our country. It might even be a good template for some of us who need to turn back to Christ. The point is that when we sin - whether it be individually, or as a nation, we need to be quick to repent. We need to pour our heart out to God and ask him to forgive us. Then, with the help of the Spirit, we need to make every effort to turn from our sinful behavior. If you don’t want to have any level of separation between you and God, you need to repent. There is no better feeling, spiritually speaking, than to be right before the Lord.


Daniel cried out to God on behalf of his people. He confessed their sin and asked for forgiveness appealing on their behalf. If you feel so inclined, I encourage you to do the same for our country because God knows we need to repent. But if you need to do it on an individual level, I encourage you not to wait. Remove any barrier between you and God by asking him to forgive you of your sin. Come clean with him - he knows your sin anyway. When we humble ourselves before him, he can and will forgive us. He will cleanse us, and restore our right standing with him. So I encourage you, if you need to; confess, ask for forgiveness and repent.

Glory To God

When God works through us, especially in answer to prayer, we need to remember to give him the credit and the glory whenever we share our praise report. Daniel knew that, and we should as well. In Daniel chapter 2 verse 27 and the first part of 28 it says:

"Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come."

Daniel could’ve just simply revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar the mystery of his dream. If he did, he wouldn’t have technically taken the credit. But instead, he chose to glorify God by crediting him, while at the same time worshipping him by lifting him up as the only source for divine revelation of this magnitude. Likewise, whenever we find ourselves in a place where we can highlight God’s greatness, we should take it. It doesn’t only accurately share our story, but it lifts up the God who made it happen. The bible tells us that God will share his glory with no one. So, the way we share what he has done for us matters. We let him know that we know the glory is his and his alone.


God is not one to share his glory with anyone, and Daniel knew that when he told the king of how God revealed the mystery of his dream. We need to remember that as well. I challenge you to take note of this story because it isn’t a small thing. By acknowledging God’s hand in our delivery, success, or answered prayer, we not only do the right thing, but we’re also responding in a very biblical way. Our lives should point to God. And this is simply one of the ways we can shine his light to the world. So, in everything give glory to where glory is due. God likes it when we do, and there can also be negative consequences if we don’t.