God has never left himself without a witness. “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? There has always been people like Enock, Noah who was found on the eve of the flood, Abraham, and Lot in the wicked city of Sodom.
While the multitude was worshiping the golden image, the three Hebrews were in their closet of prayer on their knees worshiping the One true God. If the fire consumed the body of the three Hebrews in the fire, thank God their spirit would be with the Lord, the apostle Paul stated “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: “ (II.Cor.5:6)
Better a thousand times over to die with God’s favour than live with out it, Yes better a furnace for the body than the fire of hell and a guilty heart for the soul. I like what the prophet Isaiah stated “When thou passest through the water, I will be there, and through the floods, they shall not over flow thee, when thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isa.53:2)
Troubles are often the method God uses to consume our bonds and to purify our soul. “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
God is with us in times of trouble. God did not prevent the three Hebrews from falling into distress, but help them, which is far better for disciplinary ends. God does not simply send help in times of trouble, he comes himself.
Moses was not just satisfied with the promise of the guidance of an angel in (Ex.33:2) Moses sought and obtained the assurance that God presence would go with Israel “My presence shall go with thee” (Ex. 33:14)
Jesus has promised his abiding presence to all of us who follow him “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20) May I say that Jesus’ presence is the assurance of compassion, a active communion, a special manifestion of his Spirit “But the Comforter, which is the holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” St. John 14:26)
We can rest with assurance that God’s presence in times of troubles implies his endurance with us through our time of adversity. God is afflicted in our times of afflictions, for Jesus bore our griefs “ Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows…But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for iniquities: “ (Isa. 53:4,5)
We must remember that God’s presence in our time of trouble is an assurance of present security and ultimate deliverance. The secret of the safety of the three Hebrews in the furnace is seen in the forth person “and the form of the forth is like the Son of God.” (v.25)
Know doubt, by God’s care he helps us to bear our afflictions, by his spiritual power in us he increases our strength, he helps us to overcome temptation in the hour of enticement, and God’ presence secures ultimate victory.
God does not only help us to bear our sorrow, he opens the door for us to escape, though we pass through it, we shall not remain in it. Note the words of Moses at the Red Sea “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day…But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it…and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” (Ex. 14: 13,16,21)
God’s presence in time of trouble is an ample compensation for the endurance of it. Trouble brings the eternal near and unveils the unseen. It is surely worth entering a fiery furnace to meet Christ there “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)
Heaven is the presence of God. The furnace of affliction become a paradise when he manifests his presence in it.
We must learn to be faithful at all times in life. The three Hebrews were faithful to God and because of there faithfulness God manifested himself to them. The Lord will reveal himself when we are true and trustful.
Keep in mind, if a person is living with out God in prosperity, we cannot expect him to visit him in adversity. “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither life up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” (Jer.11:14)
If we are following Jesus, we need fear no trouble “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Ps.23:4)
The assurance of the Divine presence should nerve us to meet the hardest trail. Our Christian courage is a duty which depends on faith in the presence and help of God. This faith is the secret of the great difference between the fortitude of the dispassionate, which often ends in despair and suicide, and the courage of the Christian, which issues in patient hopeful submission. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)