How Do You Respond to Your Challenges?
By Beula Postlewait
“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meschach, 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. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be cut into pieces and their house be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:28-30, NIV, 2011).
Our heroes walked out of the fire unharmed. Their hair was not singed. Their clothing was not burned. They did not smell like smoke!
Even King Nebuchadnezzar had to recognize and give praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He was so impressed by the power of God that he allowed the Hebrews to worship their own God. He ordered that God’s name be respected throughout his kingdom. Judaism became a recognized religion with rights to tolerance and respect.
Did you notice the crowd that assembled to witness the events at the furnace? The same crowd who bowed to the ground before the statue on the Plain of Dura was there to witness the power of the true God. What do you think these people said to their families that night?
Did the Hebrews give in and say there was just so much evil that it wasn’t worth the effort to fight it? They did not. They knew that God is a holy God. He expects His children to be holy. God’s standards are the same whether the whole world is holy or the whole world is evil.
God honored Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for their courage. God still says to Christians today, “Be holy.”
Have you experienced times when you felt you had been “through the furnace,” or at least had been “singed” a little by the experience? How do you react to a “furnace experience”? Do you complain, or do you praise God for His deliverance?
A Christian response in these “furnace experiences” can attract others to God.