Some of us hope and even pray to escape life’s trials and tribulations. As Christians we believe that God is always with us, holding us up with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10) – and He is. But if we live long enough, something eventually falls apart. Loved ones die, hearts break, marriages fail, cars crash, illnesses ravage – in other words, we all at some point fall into the fire.
In her study of Daniel, Bible study teacher Beth Moore outlines three possible scenarios when we fall into the fire or face trials in life. First, God can ‘deliver us from the fire.’ We are on the precipice about to tumble in, when the Lord steps in and changes our path. We are spared the pain and suffering of the fire and ‘our faith is built’ as we praise God for His mercy.
In the second scenario, God ‘delivers us through the fire.’ We fall in headfirst. But the Lord is with us, guiding us and often carrying us through it.
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
This is a time when our faith, if it does not fail us, is strengthened. When Simon Peter was about to face his own trial of denying Christ, Jesus said to him, “I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32). Jesus then goes on to say that when Peter returns, he should strengthen his brothers. The understanding here is that Peter will be strengthened through his trials and failures and he will come back and be able to share his emboldened faith with the others.
In my own life, when I was caught up in the inferno, many prayed for me, and I begged for myself that my faith would not fail. As the fire ravaging my life burned out of control, I learned I had to let go and put all my faith and trust in the Lord. I lost my husband, I lost my children, I lost my career and I lost a part of myself, but, I didn’t lose my soul and I didn’t lose my faith. God has multiplied my faith and rewarded me abundantly for surrendering to Him and allowing Him to deliver me through this trial. He gathered up the pieces of my life and lovingly placed them back together giving me far more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
But what about the third scenario, when we are not delivered from the fire or through the fire? What of those who die in the fire? Was God faithful to them? I can answer with a resounding, yes! Believers who die in the fire are surrounded by the power and presence of God and delivered straight into His heavenly kingdom.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
The Lord always delivers those who love, honor and believe in Him. He delivers us from trials and He delivers us through them. When the flames of tragedy or death overcome us, we can trust that He uses the fire to deliver us into His arms. And, in every case, the Lord will use our trials to bring light to some heart, somewhere that is struggling in the darkness.
LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:12