There is a consequence for the grace we access through faith. Usually, this consequence is the trial of the very faith we have accessed. That faith will be tested to the limit. Here, I present an extract from a devotional by Bob Hoekstra.
“Who through faith . . . stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire.” (Heb 11:33-34)
Through various testimonies of God’s servants, we have considered some consequences of accessing grace through faith. By trusting in the Lord, they “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises” (Heb 11:33). Yet, through these lives we can see even more consequences.
Through faith in God, they “stopped the mouths of lions.” This is clearly a reference to Daniel. His enemies conspired to trap him through a new law that would ban prayer to God. “Whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions” (Dan 6:7)
Such a godless decree could never stop Daniel from his daily practice of prayer. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Dan 6:10).
The reluctant king (who respected Daniel greatly) had to apply the irreversible law. “So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions” (Dan 6:16). The next day, Daniel was found alive, rescued by the God in whom he had trusted. “So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God” (Dan 6:23).
These testimonies also include that they “quenched the violence of fire.” This would clearly refer to three contemporaries of Daniel: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. They were given courage through faith to refuse worship before the king’s idol, even though a fiery furnace awaited them. After God preserved them intact, the king extolled the Lord with understanding. “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who . . . delivered His servants who trusted in Him” (Dan 3:28).
By faith, we, too, can stop the mouth of the lion that threatens us. “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1Pe 5:8-9). Also, by faith in the promises of God, we can quench the violence of fiery trials that come against us. “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God” (Isa 43:2-3).
Prayer: Dear Lord, what a comfort to know that lions and fires are no threat to You. Lord, grant me the courage to do what is pleasing in Your sight, no matter who comes against me. When the roaring adversary attacks, may I trust in You. When fiery circumstances blaze, may I turn to You, for Your glory, Amen.