We’ve all experienced times when the heat turned up: so many situations that were not what we wanted, that did not seem fair. The world can be a tough place sometimes—most times. The words we offer to others or that others offer to us, while well-intentioned, can seem so shallow. They just miss the mark. How can we help?

Diana and I were reading our devotional one morning, and we were led to the book of Daniel. These three boys had a good life in Babylon. Why did the King go and make a decree to bow down to this stupid, golden idol? They had a position of authority; all they had to do was bow down, and all would be fine. It was not fair! And they couldn’t do it. They didn’t take the easy way out. It was time to heat up the furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us. If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have erected.”
Daniel 3:16-18

We are not asked to bow down to golden idols, but we are faced with tough questions every day. Do I give him another chance, or do I stand my ground? Do I avoid the tough conversation, or do I engage? Do I ignore the hurtful behavior, or do I address it? When we feel the heat being turned up, how are we led? How do we lead others?

I think the answer is God: be led by God and the guidance He provides us. When we have a dilemma and aren’t sure of the way to go, allow the Lord to lead—He will!

  • First step: pray about your situation.
  • Second step: turn to the Bible for direction.
  • Third step: listen for the Lord’s guidance.
  • Fourth step: pray again.
  • And fifth step: trust the Lord with all your heart and soul. He’s the one who really controls the temperature on the furnace anyway.

Lord, we give You thanks for the many times You have led us. There have been times in our lives that Your direction and Your hand on our shoulders was so clear, so obvious, that we were able to follow easily and with confidence. But Lord, there have been times, like now, that we are unsure of the path to follow or the action to take. We pray for Your guidance. Father, we pray that You deliver us from the difficult situations that we are in. We pray Your will be done. Amen.

Have a Cool Day.