One of the events in the Bible that always fascinated me as a kid was the story of the three Hebrew children who were cast into a Babylonian fiery furnace that was seven times hotter than it had ever been. I always thought about what had to be going through their minds. The king of the nation had made an offer to them that if they would just bow to his idol they wouldn’t have to die. Their response really amazes me, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” How clear they made it to the king! It was as though I could hear the excitement in their voices about going into the furnace. When they were cast into the furnace, all of the cords binding them were burnt off and they were free. Even better than that, there was a fourth man in the fire that looked like the Son of God. Can you believe it? They met Jesus!
The spiritual reality displayed in the story is that difficulties sometimes are the things that free us from that which is keeping us bound. At the same time, it renews us in a way that nothing else ever could do.
Recently, I have been going through a heavy trial both upon my shoulders and my heart, and I have been praying deeply to have this thing removed. Yet, an amazing thing has been occurring; instead of my expected results I find that I am being freed from other things that were binding my life. Wow! This is just amazing! The fiery trial that I was facing was actually God’s renewal of my entire personal life. What a blessing a trying fiery furnace can be!
Let me clarify something; I am not advocating that anyone should undergo trials or difficulties, but am rather trying to make it clear to those of you in the midst of a trial that it may be God’s renewal, and you are really being “born again”. The Scripture says “…all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.” The key word that pulls it all together is “together”. You have to take the bad with the good and realize their ultimate purpose.