Have you ever felt alone in your suffering? When we’re going through something hard, it can feel like no one gets it, so we feel isolated. But God’s Word gives us hope that we are never alone in our struggles.
In Daniel 3, God’s people are living as exiles in Babylon. Three of the Israelites, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, face a difficult choice between worshipping a golden image or being thrown into a furnace.
In the minds of these three men, the decision is a no-brainer. In fact, the confident manner in which they defy the king’s order to bow down to the idol sends him into a rage.
After the men are thrown to the flames, the king’s fury changes to confusion. “Wait a minute,” he says, “how many men did we throw into that furnace?”
A fourth man, whose appearance was “like the son of the gods,” walked with the three men in the furnace (Daniel 3:25).
We all know how this story ends: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are pulled from the furnace without even a scent of smoke on their clothes. But we know from experience that this type of deliverance isn’t always God’s plan for His people. Sometimes the flames feel like they’re killing us. We may not be pulled from the furnace until we reach heaven. So what can we take away from this story?
Dale Ralph Davis puts it this way in his commentary on Daniel: “Christ did not keep them out of the furnace but found them in it. He does not always shield you from all distresses and dangers, but it is in the loneliness, the betrayal, in the loss that the Fourth Man comes and walks with you.”
If you belong to Christ, you never walk through suffering alone. He has found you, and He will never leave you.
No matter what you face this week, your Savior walks with you in your struggles.
(An earlier version of this devotional originally appeared on my website on February 22, 2016.)
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