How to Stand Firm in Fiery Trials

Sometimes people have something bad happen in life and claim they’ve lost their faith because of it. Good! They need to get rid of that faith, because a faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. When you face fiery trials, when things are not going your way, it is easy to lose faith and crumble. Real faith in a real God will not grow weaker through difficulty. It will only get stronger. That is the kind of faith we all need as Christians, because fiery trials will come our way. Trials produce something that easy times will not, and that is spiritual toughness.

In the case of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego), their fiery trial wasn’t metaphorical; it was literal. Much earlier in their lives, they had laid a foundation of strength. They had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians, hand-chosen to be in the king’s palace. And if they did a good job, they would get promoted.
One of their first tests was whether or not they would eat at the king’s table. All the awesome food of Babylon was on that table, yet we read that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and their friend Daniel wouldn’t eat it. Though ordered to be fed from the royal table, they would not touch that food, because the Chaldeans ate of meat forbidden by the Mosaic law. Even that which might be determined clean became defiled by having been sacrificed to idols before it was prepared for common use; therefore, they took a principled stand.
Even when King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to toss them into a blazing furnace if they refused to bow down and worship his idol of gold; these three men boldly defied the king and told him that their God would deliver them. “But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18 NIV)
Wow! Essentially, these guys said, “Even if God doesn’t answer our prayer and save us from the fire, we will still stand firm in our faith.”   They obviously had a deep conviction about who God is. Their belief didn’t waver even in the face of overwhelming adversity.
One of the reasons why I think they were able to stand so firm in their faith is because there were three of them. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, tells us: “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT)
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had each other. They were three like-minded strands of cord braided together in faith. Threats and fiery trials could not break them. The way to stand firm in your faith is to find two or three other Christ Followers that you can count on. When temptations, trials or tests come your way, you circle the wagons with these partners of faith to gain strength and support.

Others Offer the Strength to Stand Firm

In our culture today, we like to think we can stand alone, but this is simply not Biblical. Needs and pressures left unaddressed will consume us. Alone we are vulnerable. As the scripture above states, “A person alone can be attacked and defeated.”
Two is better than one, but ultimately, a small group of devoted believers is what you need to stand firm in your faith no matter what. We are to care one for another, to pray one for another, to bear one another’s burdens. Prayer for one another’s needs is a declaration of our collective dependence on God.
There are times when we pray for ourselves – and we should. And there are times when we cannot pray. There are times when pressures and burdens may have laid us so low that we need someone else to pray for us and with us. I’ve arrogantly tried to go it alone and I can tell you it doesn’t work. I hope you can learn from my mistake.
If you are facing fiery trials, you are not alone. God is with you and can give you confidence in the middle of your trials. You are in the loving hands of the Almighty like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. He is aiming carefully at something that you cannot see. He is stretching, pulling and straining you into His purposes. Oswald Chambers says: “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”
In days of difficulty, how can we respond in faith? How can we rise up in confident faith in God when the world around us seems to be crumbling? We must find the way of faith if we are going to live in victory. After all, faith is foundational in the Christian life. God releases His blessings in our life and circumstances according to our faith (Matthew 9:29; 21:21-22; Mark 11:23-24; John 5:14-25).
You might be going through a fiery trial of your own right now. Maybe you’re wondering whether you’ll have the strength to stand spiritually when that day comes. That is entirely up to you. God won’t put you into a situation where there isn’t a way out or a way through. Having said that, whether or not you stand on that day is up to you. It comes down to the choices you make. As you stand up for God, He will stand up for you. It will be worth it. You’ll see.

1 Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (NLT)   Written by: Pastor Ronald Huffstetler (click here to see author bio)

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