King Nebuchadnezzar erects a golden statue and gives the order for all people in his kingdom to bow down and worship it when a musical signal is given. Anyone refusing to do so can expect death in a blazing furnace. Everyone conforms to his demands except for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They hold to their faith even with the certainty of the furnace before them. They declare boldly that their God is able to save them! BUT, and this is BIG! They also tell the king that even if their God chooses not to deliver them, it doesn’t change a thing! They will worship and be faithful to the one true God no matter the circumstance, no matter the outcome!
Dan 3:4-7; Dan 3:15-19; Dan 3:24-25, 27
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.”
When things are going well and circumstances are “right” we want to serve; we live with joy; we are more generous with our time and resources; we declare God’s faithfulness. But in those times when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, when we struggle with our marriage, our finances, our job, our family, or our health, it is often difficult to declare God’s faithfulness. BUT, and this is BIG. It is often in the furnace of hardship that we meet Jesus, just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego learned. They would have missed him, if they hadn’t gone through the fire.
Have you ever been mistreated because of your faith? Has there been a time when your prayers weren’t answered the way you wanted, but you stood strong in your faith? Are you able to close your prayers with “not my will, but thy will be done”? How do you respond when God doesn’t?
Rest in God’s ability to handle any and every trial or problem that comes your way. Give your life into his hands. Rest secure in his plans. Read the Psalms that declare his greatness.
Lord, you spoke and the world came into existence. You are great and mighty! You are able to do all things! Have your way in my life. Not my will, but thy will be done, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.