“If it 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 your gods!” (Daniel 3:16-17).
Surely God gives His grace in times such as these. For those of us who are living in easier times, our total dedication to the Lord must be seen in our selfless commitment to serving Him. We are called to fellowship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, some hear the call, some answer the call, and too few repeat the call. What does it take to move you to sing praise to the name of The Lord Most High, Jehovah-el Shaddai, the Almighty God? Will it be physical pain, mental anguish, the threat of death or some other traumatic event in your life?
I find it shameful that too many Christians are moved more often by adversity to call upon the name of the Lord and sing His praise than by a simple recognition of His wonders and tender mercies we receive every day? The prophet Jeremiah writes; “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Jeremiah 22-23). We should not be bad-weather Christians, rousing the Savior only when the storm clouds hover and the raging sea lashes upon our little ships. Our gratitude should rouse us to sing of his goodness in the good times as well as the not-so-good times.
Recently, during a period of study, I was touched by a story I read told by the wife of the great Evangelist Dr. Charles Spurgeon a long time ago, I found it to be thought-provoking and touching. Especially, inspiring was the revelation Mrs. Spurgeon was a great sufferer for more than a quarter of a century (twenty-five years) of her life. This is how she related to the revelation of God’s tender mercies and wonders in the midst of her pain and suffering:
“At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. Vainly I tried to see the Hand which I knew held mine, and guided my fog-enveloped feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering. In sorrow of heart I asked; “Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?”
These fretful questions were quickly answered, and through a strange language; no interpreter was needed save the conscious whisper of my heart. For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet soft sound, a little, clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window. ‘What can it be? Surely no bird can be singing out there at this time of the year and night. Again came the faint, plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious enough to provoke our wonder. My friend exclaimed, “It comes from the log on the fire!” The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak’s inmost heart! “Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3).
Perchance he (the oak) had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old since then, and hardened; ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up the long-forgotten melody, until the fierce tongues of the flames came to consume his callousness, and the vehement heart of the fire wrung from him at once a song and a sacrifice. ‘Ah,’ thought I, ‘when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!’
Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust in Him, and cheerful compliance with His will. As I mused the fire burned, and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me.”
A beautiful story indeed. Singing in the fire! Yes, God always is willing to help us, and if tossing us as logs into the fire is the only way to get harmony out of our hard apathetic Christian hearts, let the fire burn around and within us seven times hotter than before. “It is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:17-18).
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- What Is Humility? – Charles H. Spurgeon (billydie.wordpress.com)
- What About perseverance (verticalviewer.wordpress.com)