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Do you ever feel like you’ve lost before you’ve even begun?

Sometimes we feel defeated before the battle has even begun because the challenge is too great; the heartache is too unbearable; and the personal cost is too much. Courage feels thin. Hearts quake and knees shake. And yet, there’s one way forward and that’s through the fire. The three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego faced a literal fire when they refused to worship a manmade image. How could they survive? Fire consumes everything in its wake–oxygen, land, and people. Defeat looked probable. But look at their faith:

They replied…“we do not need to defend ourselves in this matter. If we are thrown into this blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it….but even if he does not, we want you to know King Nebuchadnezzar, we will not serve your gods or the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18 ESV).

They remind us of two things: One, God is able. Two, their faith is not dependent on whether or not God acts on his ability.

God is able.

In our own lives we can remember that God is able and capable of anything. He can change our circumstances or he can make a way through. He can heal this side of heaven or the other side. He can protect us from the flames or carry us through the pain of the flames. God is able.

It’s one thing to know this about God and another thing entirely to keep our faith intact whether God wills to do a miracle the way we think it should be. The three Hebrew boys had no idea what the outcome of this battle would be. They only knew that they could not bow down to that image of gold. We have the benefit of knowing how the story ends, but they did not. We whoop and holler over their victory, but when they faced the fire, they had to know that it looked like an impossible victory.

We’ve been in situations like that before. We’ve wished we knew the end of the story and could just flip through those pages in our lives. But life doesn’t work that way. We need to live through our joys and sorrows; our knowns and unknowns with a faith that reminds us that God is able and even if he does not save us from the fire, we can still choose to worship and serve him. He gets the glory because he is able and through our steady faith shining as an example to a faithless world.

A Prayer for Victory

Holy God,
We need you to intervene in our circumstance. It seems as though defeat is the probable outcome, but even if not, we will serve you with our whole hearts. We will take up courage like a mantle and trust that you will make a way when there is no way. We won’t let the outcome of our circumstances dictate our faith in you, but we will stand firm in the promised victory–whether it’s in our actual situation or in our heart. You are mighty to save and we choose to stand firm in you so that others around us may see your glory in us. Thank you for leading, guiding, and directing us through the ups and downs of life. We rejoice in your victory.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For the Kingdom

As you go about your lives, remember that God is able and that he wants your faith to be dependent on him. He is “I Am” and is with you always. Take up your courage and stand firm in your faith. I’ll be joining you with the battle cry, “For the Kingdom!” Let’s raise our voices together so that the world might see.

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