Every coin has two sides, just like every story. The side that we choose to hear and retell and the side that we prefer not to speak of. The gospel is not different. A lot of times, it is easier to take in the good – the blessings, miracles and promises. But our faith is not a supermarket trip where you get to pick what you like and wish away the tough stuff. Some hard days and times will come, our faith will be tried in the fire, weighed to see how we shakeup. Every great man had his day and is considered great today because they stood their ground.
Abraham’s faith was tested when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s den because he refused to obey the king. These stories serve as vivid reminders of the scripture that says, ‘In this world, we will have troubles’.
As I read through the book of Daniel, I have to pause and reflect on the faith of the three Hebrew boys. While everyone bowed to the image of the king, they stood tall knowing the consequence was Death. Today, that same image stands tall in different expressions and many of us bow down knowingly or unknowingly because we want to be nice, we don’t want to offend, or we don’t want to make the headlines. We often look the other way and ignore opportunities to speak the truth of God’s word when we encounter people with misdirected versions of the truth.
The Hebrew boys had two options, Bow or Burn, they chose to burn with very clear words for the king.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve can save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Daniel 3:16-18 NLT
Look at the boldness that they displayed in the face of opposition. Whereas, the thought of a blazing furnace will make so many today shouts, ‘it is not my portion’ or ‘God forbid’. We have taught the gospel of bread and butter for so long that we have left many believers unprepared for the perilous times that will surely come. Many of us will feel that God has forsaken us or even question how a good God can allow his children to go through this. The truth is a good God will not and that is why He created us and kept us in beautiful Eden but every day just like our ancestor Adam, we do exactly what He told us not to do.
Now, let’s go back to the three Hebrew boys for a lesson on trials. First, they acknowledged that they served a God who was capable to save them – ‘the God whom we serve can save us‘. It is important that when we go through life, we remember that God is able, that awareness gives us strength to accept what comes out of every situation that we go through. Knowledge of God is important because ‘those who know their God will be strong and do exploits.
Next, they made a statement that blew my mind – “Even if he doesn’t”, this statement acknowledges that sometimes God will say No when we call on him and ‘No’ might not be what we want to hear but ‘No’ is an answer.
Then, they sounded the alarm – “Your majesty, we will NEVER serve your gods” – this is called taking a stand, what and who do you stand for? Every believer needs to come to this point where God is God to you no matter the outcome. The point where your decision to follow is trusting because He will take you to places that may not have milk flowing on the streets.
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