Daniel 3:18 blazes with the first response a believer should ever have when facing adversity. It is simply-worded, a statement given without drama or theatrics. A quietly spoken, deeply-rooted belief. A knee-jerk reaction from a trio of believers facing an enraged king who was eager to burn them to death for the wrong answer.
King Nebuchadnezzar thought so highly of himself that he erected a 90-foot gold statue in his own likeness and ordered all the people to bow down in worship to it, or be faced with immediate death in a fiery furnace. And yet…three brave Jewish men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, quietly refused. Knowing that God did not dwell within that 90-foot, towering hunk of gold, they would not forsake God by bowing to an empty substitute.
Instead, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a screaming, red-faced Nebuchadnezzar who gave them one last chance: bow or burn. Without an instant’s hesitation, these men of faith said with absolute conviction, “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 DOES NOT, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. ” Daniel 3:17, 18 (NIV)
I once had the opportunity to stand in front of an 80 foot Buddha statue, and thought of these three forefathers of Christianity. I found myself wondering… if the guards demand I bow down right now or be killed, do I have the courage to say, “You can’t kill me, because there is only one God and He will save me. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, I will not turn from Him.” Oh, how I want to be that kind of believer!
Is your first reaction to life’s traumas and trials an absolute conviction that He will spare you? These three men had no doubts: God’s got this – He won’t let any harm come to us. Many of us give lip service to this belief. But the greater believer will go on to say, “But even if He does not… I will always serve Him.” Period. Even if we lose everything, including our life on this earth.
Will you serve Him even when His will, His plan, does not include sheltering you from trials? May God give you the faith to face every situation knowing He can spare you, while still giving you the strength to say, “But even if He does not, I will follow Him!”
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