Life is full of trials and we all experience them…whether it’s relationship troubles, rebellious children, workplace drama, or financial issues, we all face them. During challenging times, it’s easy to just take a knee and accept defeat. But, what you must remember is that the Lord is always on your side, and it’s your faith in Him that will help you get to the other side of your trials.
The world, today, is full of people who are willing to compromise morality for an easier life. What makes us stand out is that we have the courage to stand alone when the crowd is moving in the wrong direction! The struggle to take the easy way out is not new, though. There are countless examples of people in history who were willing to stand alone in a sea of bowed heads. The book of Daniel tells us of three such men, whose steadfast faith and convictions could have cost them their lives.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were three Babylonian officials under the rule of the great King Nebuchadnezzar. This king was the most powerful man in the world, and he was certainly used to being the center of attention. When he built a gold statue and commanded everyone in the kingdom to bow down and worship it (Daniel 3:4-5), he also gave them an ultimatum – “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:6, NKJV).
The choice was easy to make for most of the kingdom – as soon as the music began to play, every person bowed down to worship the idol of the king…except for three men. That’s right – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego bravely refused to go with the crowd, because they knew that it was more important to uphold and honor their beliefs and stand steadfast before the Lord. What about you? When you are faced with a seemingly impossible challenge to your faith and your morals, are you willing to stand strong or will you compromise and make excuses?
In today’s world, most people won’t bat an eye at someone who will be dishonest in their quest to better themselves or their situation. In Daniel 3, these three men could have chosen to go with the flow and no one would have even known the sacrifice they were making. The hardest choices in life are typically what is right, rather than what is easy.
These three men refused to worship the statue, but because Nebuchadnezzar liked them, instead of immediately sentencing them to death, he decided to give them a second chance. This was perhaps the more difficult decision for these men – they were given a chance to bow again, and all would be forgiven! Instead, they looked the king right in the eye and politely, but firmly told him, “no” and went on to say:
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace… will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, NKJV).
Is this the kind of faith and courage you demonstrate when the good times turn tough? These three men’s decision to honor God instead of the king, sealed their fate…into the furnace they went! Wow, how many times have you chosen the right thing to do, only to suffer the consequences of man’s wrath? The enemy will make it seem as if your righteousness has no profit to you in the face of adversity. But, just when Satan thinks he has won, God steps in and shows him who the boss really is.
“I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of
the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25, NKJV).
The faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego not only allowed them to stay true to their God, it also saved them from a horrible death by fire and allowed the king to see the only One who deserved worship – God and God, alone!
My friend, it is your faith in God that will protect you from the flames of life’s trials. When it seems easier to compromise than to confront and stand strong, just know, that choosing the latter positions God to walk you through the fire! Don’t bend and don’t bow, just stand firm in righteousness and watch your God show up in a big way!
Living in His Grace and Peace,
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