1 Peter 4:7-5:14
Man, Daniel is so full of crazy stories. Crazy stories I've heard a lot and I don't get tired of.
Today I tried to imagine the fear and panic that would undoubtedly come over me if I was in this story with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego.
First of all, they are called to have a talk with the king.
Second, they are threatened.
Thirdly, they are tied up and bound by men.
And fourth, they are carried up and thrown into a FIERY hot furnace.
I mean, what is going through your head during these moments? This. is. faith.
It's one of those things that I'm pretty sure I'm never going to be faced with in this lifetime: a king saying worship me or I will throw you in the furnace. But I am faced with other kinds of tests like this every day.
1 Peter 4:12-16
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you...if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."
Just today I started getting paranoid about my ministry. I was faced with circumstances and conversations that made me wonder how kind and loving I am and it made me question how faithful I have been to the truth of Jesus Christ. And at this point this evening I am feeling better about it and praying for more of Jesus in my life, because though I feel God's grace and how He is actually pleased with my ministry, I still know that I am not perfect. I want to be more saturated with Christ.
But I am also comforted with the idea that this is not a foreign concept. All of the world Christians suffer. They suffer physically, they suffer from these sorts of thoughts, they suffer loneliness, they suffer all the things I experience and all the things I could only imagine experiencing.
1 Peter 5:9 "Stand firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
Lord, I have no idea if I am doing anything right. I have no idea if I'm making a difference. I have no idea if I'm following You boldly enough. I have no idea how to do a lot of things it seems like You are putting me in the position to do.
So all I know is, I need to hear Your voice. I need to feel Your presence and sense Your guidance.
I need You.
I thank You for the reminders of how not alone I am in that in these struggles I may be facing my brothers and sisters around the world fight in this same fight. We are all battling the spiritual forces of evil in this world and we are not alone. Lord, I need You. I need Your guidance, Your words, Your will. I look to You.
I look to You because as I see throughout the Bible and this story in Daniel included, it's all about YOU. Whatever it is I am facing, whatever it is we are facing, it is all happening so that You may receive all the glory. So that everyone will know that You are the God of all gods, the King of all kings, the One.