Joni and Friends Daily Devotional 2 June 2022 || Friday Message
Read Joni and Friends Daily Devotional 2 June 2022 2022
Topic: Does Anyone Smell Smoke?
Joni and Friends Daily Devotional 2 June 2022 MESSAGE
The only thing that caught fire were the ropes that bound their hands and feet. Free of their restraints, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego seemed to walk about in the great furnace of Babylon like it was an air-conditioned mall on a Sunday afternoon.
And no wonder.
They weren’t alone.
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.
“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!” – Daniel 3:24-25, The Message
The king, who had ordered the servants of God thrown into the fire for refusing to worship his golden image, stood as close as he dared to the mouth of the furnace and shouted to them.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire.
“All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counselors, 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!” Daniel 3:26-27, The Message
Not only were the three young men free from burns or injuries, they didn’t even smell like smoke!
At one time or another, all of us have felt the flames of the refiner’s fire. It’s the one experience we all share in common. No matter how we balk at the idea, God has promised to refine his children.
To refine, says Webster, is “to make fine or pure; free from impurities, dross, allow, or sediment…to free from imperfection, coarseness, crudeness, etc.” A refiner of course, expects to improve whatever commodity he places into the fire. Look at your gold wedding band, or maybe that gold chain around your neck. After all these years, it still gleams. It still wears well. Why? Because it had the luster and richness pressed into it long ago when it went through the refining flames.
Look at your best silver, your flatware that you got when you were married, those silver bowls and trays tucked away in your china cupboard. You pull them down once in a blue moon, yet they glow with that soft shine even after many years.
The refining process is supposed to turn out things all the more beautiful, all the more durable.
But how many of us go through the refiner’s fire and come out the other end looking like…charcoal? Or rusty iron. Or smoking ashes. We may be like the Pharisees of old who wore long faces and rumpled clothes when they fasted (to attract sympathetic attention). Often when we come through a period of suffering, we want to make sure that everybody knows all the sad and sordid details. The thing of beauty that God wanted to create by sending us into the flames becomes tarnished by our complaints and woebegone expressions.
Be honest. If you’ve had “one of those days” where you feel like you’ve been dragged through the refiner’s fire, how do you show it?
By taking a casual greeting like “How are you doing?” as an excuse to list every minor and major casualty of your day?
By using your prayer group time as an excuse to gripe or gossip?
By painting a picture of your marriage that colors your spouse as the culprit and you as the hero?
By living like a martyr…and making sure everybody knows it?
If you do, I’m afraid people are going to smell smoke. They’ll know you’ve been scorched by your troubles, and your testimony may end up tarnished.
There’s a better way. Let’s offer sincere, wholehearted praise to God as we walk through the refiner’s fire. Perhaps those who pause to peer into our furnace will see the Son of God walking with us.
“I’ll deliver [them] to the refinery fires. I’ll refine them as silver is refined, test them for purity as gold is tested. Then they’ll pray to me by name and I’ll answer them personally.” – Zechariah 13:9, The Message
Pray with me: Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit within me, I pray that the light and fragrance of Jesus will radiate from my life all day long. No matter what transpires this day, no matter what the weather, no matter what my physical condition, no matter what’s transpiring in my family or my most important relationships, I pray that you will enable me to walk in the fire but not smell like smoke. In the name of the One who walks with me, Amen.
Thanks for reading Joni and Friends Daily Devotional 2 June 2022