Affirmation Bible Reading: Daniel 3: 19-28
‘19-23 Nebuchadnezzar, his face purple with anger, cut off Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace fired up seven times hotter than usual. He ordered some strong men from the army to tie them up, hands and feet, and throw them into the roaring furnace. The friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bound hand and foot, fully dressed from head to toe, were pitched into the roaring fire. Because the king was in such a hurry and the furnace was so hot, flames from the furnace killed the men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to it, while the fire raged around Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 24 Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?” “That’s right, O king,” they said. 25 “But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!” 26 Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the roaring furnace and called in, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!” 27 All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counsellors, gathered around to examine them and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them! 28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued his servants who trusted in him! They ignored the king’s orders and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’
What is your fiery furnace right now? What difficulty do you have going on in your life that feels like it has been fired up seven times hotter than usual? Is it depression, anxiety, relationship problems, an eating disorder, addiction, finances, a health issue or ……(fill in the gap)? Write your problem down in your journal with today’s date. I want you to know that there is nothing that you cannot overcome with God’s help. You will look back at this journal entry one day and be amazed at how God carried you through.
There is a beautiful poem written and normally entitled ‘Footprints’, which tells of an individual’s dream. This person dreamt that they were walking along the beach with God and scenes from their life were flashing before them. The individual looks back at the footprints in the sand and notices that during their saddest, most overwhelming times, there was only one set of footprints. The person becomes troubled and accuses God of not sticking to His word. They remind God that when they decided to follow Him, He had promised to walk with them all the way and the single set of footprints clearly showed that this had not happened. The individual asks God why He would leave them when they needed Him most. God assures the individual that He would never leave them during their trials and testing and explains that when there was only one set of footprints visible, that was when He was carrying them.
No problem is too big for God to help you sort out. Just pray and ask for His help and have faith in the love that He has for you. Note to self: The three friends in today’s bible story were not spared the fire, but they climbed out of the fire without even a hair on their heads being singed. God even stopped the stench of the fire from sticking to them. How amazing is that?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know many believers who have not come through suffering unscathed. Those who have trusted God’s plan for their lives have learned to replace “why is this happening to me” with “what is this trying to teach me”, and found that this shifts the mindset.
‘Dwell on the size of your God not the height of your giant’Quote by Louis Giglio
Write this important acrostic in your journal (a lovely relaxation exercise is to copy and colour the letters supplied).
Fight for you
Stand by you
Breathe: When deep breathing is focused and slow, it can help to reduce anxiety. Sit or lie down in a quiet, comfortable place to do this breathing technique for 20 minutes.
- Start by mentally scanning your body. Notice how it feels when you inhale and exhale normally. Check for any tension in your body that you never noticed.
- Now take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Notice how your belly and upper body expand.
- Exhale by sighing. Do this several times, paying attention to the rise and fall of your belly.
- Now exhale with this word: “Hosanna” (which means save us)
- Feel your inhale washing over you like a gentle wave
- Feel your exhale (Hosanna) carrying away your anxiety, negative thoughts etc
Meditate on these encouraging words from Matthew 19:26 “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Pray: Dear Lord, I praise and worship you because you are great and worthy of my praise. You are faithful and true to save me from all my fears. There is no fire too hot for you to step into and to pull me out, unharmed. You are bigger than anything in this world. Help me to remember that nothing is impossible for You. I will rejoice in your power and might, knowing you are more than the problems I’m facing, knowing you are by my side through it all and when I’m weary and tired, you carry me through the difficulties of life. Fill my heart with your strength and peace. Hosanna! Amen!