Knowing and Believing in God’s Character Brings Peace
He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:25
Please read: Daniel 3:19-27
It's no coincidence that over the past few days I have found myself fighting many of the "emoji feelings" that Madelaine and I shared in our video on Saturday. Amazingly, I can experience each one of them (anger, sadness, aggravation, and worried-ness) all within about 5 minutes of each other! Oh, the woes of a woman! What are we to do with all these emotions?
We CHANGE our focus--from feelings to FAITH... in God and His character. This choice practice will bring his peace within us, no matter the circumstances. (Let me say here: it is a choice, and it is a practice. Stay persistent, and pursue his peace).
So today, let’s consider this wonderful attribute of God: his ongoing presence. The story of Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace is a perfect place to be reminded of this truth. Think of these young men who were firmly tied as they fell into the furnace that was heated seven times hotter than usual (v. 23, 19). Their situation could not have looked (or felt) more foreboding! However, King Nebuchadnezzar spotted the inexplicable scene and spoke it out loud to the others watching: “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (v.25). Scholars say this fourth man was either God’s appointed angel or the pre-incarnate Son of God himself. I choose to believe the latter. I wonder what words were spoken to these young men in the midst of the flames. It was probably something reassuring such as this: “Remain calm. Keep your eyes on me instead of the fire. Trust me fully.” I can’t help but think of a very similar situation, yet over a half a century later, when Jesus was in a storm-tossed boat with his frightened disciples. As the wind and the waves raged, he powerfully spoke, “Peace, be still.” In both tumultuous situations, God was present and so was his peace.
What is going on in your life that has you bound up with seemingly no escape? Believe that God is present, and that he is all knowing and all powerful. What is he saying to you? You and I may not be able to physically see him standing by our side, but we as believers today have the gift of his Spirit living inside of us. Jesus is our peace within! Hear his promises, “Fear not, I will help you,” and “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Isaiah 41:13; Deuteronomy 31:6).
He is the fourth man in the fire. He is the one in the storm-tossed boat. He is the one living within your heart. He is Immanuel: God with us (Matthew 1:23). No matter the circumstances that that may be raging all around you, know that he is present, and choose to breathe in his peace.
For further reading: Isaiah 41:10-13; Isaiah 43:1-2; Matthew 8:23-27
Thank you for your ongoing presence! May we choose to focus on you today rather than the feelings that arise due to difficult circumstances. Help us to hear your voice in the midst of the clamor. Keep our eyes fixed on you not our surroundings, because in you alone, we have peace. Amen