By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him."Lamentations 3:21-24and"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If if be so, our God, whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."Daniel 3:16-18-----Memory Catcher: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; a godly trio of three.Spared by the Mercy of the Almighty.Utilizing the names, we create a memorable summary of both the men and God.-----Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were "favored Jewish captives" living in exile and in service to King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon. Favoritism shown to them and superior positions granted them created conflict within the ranks.Out of hatred and jealousy, and with a desire to see them dismissed, the highly "ranked natives" suggested to the King that he give an order stipulating that all men, before him, worship and bow down to the golden image which he had constructed.The suggestion agreed with the ego and King Nebuchadnezzer made the command, unaware that the "favored trio" was resistant to the gods that he served.Undeterred by the edict, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to surrender their hearts and minds to the worship of another, and maintained publicly and respectfully, their worship of the One true God."Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace."Daniel 3:19-20The outcome of the story paves the way to a manifestation of God's great glory and He chooses, in this instant, to procure the lives of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in a highly supernatural and mysterious way. Not only did the three men remain unscathed and unharmed but a "fourth" man, like the Son of God, joined them in the midst of the furnace. (Daniel 3:25)Hmmm ...It's a drama filled, hope filled, God filled story to be sure;But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn't "foreknow" the outcome of their obedience to God and they weren't reliant on it for their devotion to Him ... and this is the part of the story my heart adores about these men.Whether God had chosen to manifest His glory or not in this way; the three men remained adamant in the course of action they took, and were supplied with the supernatural courage to withstand the furnace they were placed in.This is the defining of hope, without hesitation, in God Almighty:The supreme and active knowledge that God is sovereignly in control of the affairs and events of our lives is the determinant, in the end, of how we live our lives.It is because of God's mercies, and His mercies alone, that we are not consumed.He spares us, as He spared Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and even appears with us in our lives, because of who He is and not because of who we are.The "fourth" man will always appear in the furnace with you, my friend, no matter how hot the furnace gets.Remain adamant in your course of obedience;Remain trusting and reliant on the supreme sovereignty and authority of God's word ... and leave the outcome to Him.God will be faithful, and therefore ...We will hope in Him.Lamentations 3:24-----Sovereign and powerful God, For the greatness of Thy glory, we give Thee praise.For the exaltation of Thy great name, we give Thee praise.Grant a supernatural courage to our souls that we would remain adamantly subject to Thy word and to Thy will, in whatever Thou might lead us into. Let us remain unmoved and undeterred in our course of obedience regardless of what comes in its wake.Where we have been hindered and grown fearful, we ask for Thy forgiveness and the strength to move on, once again, in a manner of holiness.Foster fearlessness and hopefulness in our weakness and supply us with a necessary strength to perform Thy will.We are Thine ... and we place our hope in Thee.Amen.
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