7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:7-11).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faithful to God even when they faced the consequence of being thrown into a fiery furnace because they disobeyed King Nebuchadnezzer (Daniel 3:14-18). They yielded up their bodies (Daniel 3:28) knowing that God would not only deliver them from their affliction, but that he would be in the midst of it with them (v. 25). As Christians, we must give up our bodies to carry out the will of God. We are God’s “earthen vessels” (KJV) or “jars of clay” (ESV), doing what he has commanded so that people see that all power belongs to him, and as a result, he will be glorified. There will be many trials in our lives. We undoubtedly will be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down because part of the calling is to share in the death of Jesus Christ for his sake. However, we have to remember always that God is in the midst of our affliction, working things out for our good (Romans 8:28). He will deliver us through his providence as we continue to live according to his purpose.