I’m currently reading a series of devotions by Rick Warren where he is using the Old Testament book of Daniel and applying it to our relationship with God today. In the following devotion Rick describes the profound impact on King Nebuchadnezzar of how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced the threat of execution by being thrown into a furnace for not worshiping his golden statue. They didn’t panic. They stood on their faith and trust in God to the extent that they said that even if God didn’t deliver them they would not worship any god but their God the God of Israel YAHWEH.
Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT)16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.18 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.”
Their refusal compromise resulted not only in their deliverance but in King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledging that there was no god like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s god.
Daniel 3:29 (NLT)29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”
The way you face and respond to your trials can have the same impact on someone and present the opportunity for you or someone else to share the gospel and lead them to salvation through Jesus Christ.
By Rick Warren
“Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God” (Daniel 3:28 NIV).
When you trust God in spite of suffering, you’ll point unbelievers to him.
How you handle pain is a great witness to the world.
Frankly, you and I aren’t much of a witness when life is good. Anyone can serve God during those times.
But tough times are a different story.
Remember the story of Daniel’s friends being tossed into the fire? They trusted God, and he rescued them in a miraculous manner.
These guys impressed the king with their faith. And the king was the most powerful emperor of that age.
The king said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God” (Daniel 3:28 NIV).
King Nebuchadnezzar recognized that these guys were willing to defy his order and risk death because they trusted God.
What are you willing to die for?
If you don’t know what you’re willing to die for, you’ll never truly live. You’ll only exist.
Did you know that some trees only sprout after a forest fire? The jack pine tree of North America is like that. The seeds are in the cones so tightly that they won’t come out unless intense heat comes along. It’ll melt the resin, then the seed drops, and then it germinates.
Without heat, it wouldn’t happen.
The same is true with us.
Sometimes God brings new life to others because we trusted him through the fire
Devotion from Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope