KEEPING THE FIRE AMIDST THE FURNACE
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, friends of Daniel, faced a trial when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his kingdom to worship a golden statue. Despite the awaiting punishment- to be thrown in the flaming furnace- the three men courageously took a stand that they would not worship the golden statue and firmly held into their belief that God would save them no matter what happens. Angered by the decision of the three men, King Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the flaming furnace. Instead of feeling fear, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chose to worship God. Surprisingly, King Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the furnace instead of three and the fourth man looked like an angel. All at once, he asked the three to go out and all was amazed because the three men were unharmed. With great amazement with their faith in God and as to how God saved them, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his kingdom to respect their God and appointed the three men to a higher position. (Daniel 3)
This Bible story is not unusual to us, however, people always forget the lessons it teaches and how we should apply them in our lives. Let us go over them again.
1. Stand firm in faith amidst the furnace. Persecution is always part of the Christian life. When we let Jesus enter into our lives, He did not promise us a life in a bed of roses but He promised us that He will always be with us no matter what happens. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, despite the persecution, they held on to God’s promise that He is the God who saves. He has saved them once and they believed that He would save them once again as long as they remove the doubt and fear and replace it with unwavering faith.
2. With God, all things are possible. Our God is a God of Miracles. Everyday, He gives us miracles. If God has worked a miracle to the life of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego by sending an angel to protect them, He would work miracles on our lives too. All we have to do is accept His will, follow and trust His ways, be patient, and keep praying.
3. Our sufferings are not in vain if we take a stand for Christ. Our lives are living testimonies of God’s grace. Like the three men, when they took a stand, their lives have proven God’s work in their lives. They have not only honored God, but they received a reward as well. All that we do for Christ counts for a reward in heaven. We may not be seeing the reward now, but we believe of a prosperous life in a paradise with God.
In facing life’s trials, let us always remember this story that teaches us to hold on to God and His promises. Amidst the furnace, our faith in God and our God prevails.
Written by: Carla Gozum