Monday, September 9, 2013
How a Hot Furnace Can Help You Chill Out
We often find ourselves stressed out and overwhelmed when we have a whole list of things we can't control. Maybe you're having trouble paying the bills and worried you can't afford to buy your child's birthday gift, a set of tires for your car or pay for the dental work you really need.
The devil wants you to spend your life frustrated, anxious, in fear, and out of touch with God. But we have to stop thinking about what's wrong and start focusing our mind on God, who's in control.
In the Fire, but not Burned
You can do everything you need to do when God is with you—and He's always with you. In the Bible, the book of Daniel shares the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who, because of their faith in God, refused to worship a statue of the king of Babylon. Their protest infuriated the king so much that he ordered them to be thrown into a fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than usual. In fact, the furnace was so hot it burned up the men who threw them inside of it!
The Bible says that the three men were thrown into the fire bound, but when the king looked in, he saw four unbound men walking around in the fire. Who was the fourth man? Who freed them from bondage and rescued them from death? The One who never leaves us nor forsakes us.
So here's the point: If you go in the fiery furnace, Jesus will go in with you.
Giving Your Questions to God
Anxiety comes when we try to figure everything out on our own. One of the things we have to learn when we're having trouble is that we don't need to have the answers all the time. We don't have to know how, when or why. If we knew all the answers, we wouldn't need to trust God.
We have to get comfortable not knowing. That's what faith is.
When you have faith, it's actually just as good as having what you prayed for because you've released your faith over it and now you have hope, joy, and peace in knowing that God is in control. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
The roughest times in your life are when you need to dig in the deepest. That's what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did when they stepped into the furnace. But when they came out, they came out free, with an experience nobody could steal from them.
Walk This Way
If you feel like you're walking through a furnace right now, cry out to God. He'll help you through it. Don't let anxiety overtake you. Don't look at the difficulty in front of you and think, There's just no way I'm going to get through this. You don't need to see a way when you know the Way.
No matter what you might be facing right now or what comes up in the future, I want you to remember two things: God is with you—and He's in control.