Problems, injustice and persecutions are inevitable, but when God dwells within us through the Holy Spirit, joy and love are permanent. Regardless of the people around you, the circumstances, what you have or no longer have, where you are or where you aren’t, within you you have that security, strength and joy that surpasses all else.
The joy of graduating, getting married, becoming a father/mother, walking into the home of your dreams, the pleasure of working, paying off your debts, enjoying yourself, walking your daughter up the aisle dressed in white, seeing your son standing before the altar awaiting his bride … all these things bring wonderful joy, but none of them exceed the joy of salvation, and of being the temple of Holy Spirit.
When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were arrested and threatened to be thrown into the fiery furnace, as they refused to bow before the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, what caused them to react in the following way?:
Now that’s boldness, courage and confidence, is it not?!? What about you? Do you have this joy, this boldness, this confidence, when, within you, you have the greatest wealth that a human being can achieve. You have the greatest joy that a human being can have, that is the joy of salvation, the joy of the Holy Spirit?
So, when someone has the joy of God within them, they know that the furnaces of this life are inevitable – problems, difficulties, injustice, persecution and disappointments – but they don’t bow down!
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful to God and now they were being condemned to a fiery furnace, but even so, they didn’t bend. What does this mean? It means that those who have the joy of salvation never bend, never give in to the pleasures of this life, nor to the images of pornography, or adultery … of course they’re tempted, which is an excellent sign, it shows they’re walking with God. Nevertheless, the devil wants them to fall into temptation, to keep them down, making them feel guilty, condemned, weak…
Remember that you may be tempted or harassed, but don’t fall, deny, doubt or quit on your faith. You’re being tempted because God wants you to prove that you’re His servant, and not your own or the devil’s. Do I have desires? Yes! Do I have needs? Yes! Am I weak? Yes, but God is strong! Those who have the joy of salvation don’t sell themselves out to a lie. They may be tempted to lie, steal, deny their faith, even knowing that they will be severely criticized, wronged and persecuted.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that if they didn’t bow down to the image, the king would tell his servants to cast them into the burning fiery furnace, but they didn’t care. They king could kill their physical bodies, but not their souls, because they were saved and belonged to God. They could touch their garments, but not their spirit, because they were strong through the joy that they had within themselves – the joy of salvation, that their names were written in the Book of Life .
When someone has the joy of salvation, no matter the circumstances, they remain steadfast, faithful, they do not bend, nor do they sell themselves out to idolatry or traditions in order to please family or friends. He does not compromise the joy of salvation, which was bought with the blood of Jesus, even though denying his will to do God’s may cost him dearly. He’s not crazy!
The whole nation fell on their knees, all but three men remained standing, including Daniel. They assumed their Faith! Those who have the joy of salvation stand firm. You can have money, fame, health, children, everything … but if you don’t have the joy of salvation, then, you are fallen. Even if you have nothing or no one, if you have the joy of salvation, you stand firm. And the Lord Jesus is right beside you, because the Holy Spirit is already within you. He gives you this joy.
Bishop Julio Freitas
Check out his official blog: http://juliofreitas.com/en/
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