ESOCS Devotional 26 December 2022
TEXT: DANIEL 3:19-30
MEMORY VERSE: “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:25
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three young men who were highly faithful to their God, even at the risk to their lives. That was a mark of sainthood (Rev. 12:11). In their tribulation, God sent an angel from heaven to make the fiery furnace that was heated seven times of no effect. For those who serve and worship God with their whole heart, they will always remain unhurt even in the midst of their troubles (John 8:36). David echoed this in Psalm 138:7 when he said, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand will save me.” In Psalm 23:4 he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and our staff, they comfort me.” God’s presence is the heritage of those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. He preserves them. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to [perfect toward] Him.”
When we suffer for the sake of Christ or the righteous things we do, we would receive our reward in due season; and we shall inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:10). Let us always remember that there were people who ran the kingdom race before us. They did not abandon their God in the midst of their fiery trials. The more they suffered persecution, the more they persevered; and at the end of it all, “they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev. 12:11). The more Paul was persecuted, the more he strived to work for God. He was whipped, tortured, and imprisoned several times. He had an attitude: each time he came to the end of every tribulation, he would encourage himself in the Lord and emerge stronger. Instead of lamenting his terrible experiences at the hand of the authorities, he said, “… but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13 & 14).
As Christians, we would pass through temptations. Let us resolve in our hearts that we would not fail. Rather, let us press toward the goal for the prize. The apostles and disciples did not fail their God. Job remained strong to the end. Daniel was thrown into the den of lions but he remained faithful to his God. In the end, all of them became victorious. The scripture reminds us that there is assurance of victory: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Rom. 8:37); and that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4.17).
Like the entire triumphant saints did, let us hold strongly onto the promise of eternal life and let it be our consolation in our trying moments.
- On what do you anchor your hope of eternal life?
- Pray the Holy Spirit to help you sustain your faith during trials and temptation.
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ESOCS Devotional 26 December 2022