Are you being faced with a tough situation? Are the burdens of this life wearing you out? Open your Bible, and be encouraged! Turn to Daniel chapter 3 to learn the story of three brave men that stood strong for
what Who they believed in, even when every odd was against them.
This is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. They were three faithful followers of God. They lived at the time when Nebuchadnezzar was king. One day he decided to build a huge golden statue to set up in the middle of the city. He declared that when the bells go off, everyone must bow down and worship this statue. If anyone were to not obey this rule, then the king would have them sent into a furnace. The king’s servants were quite the little tattle tales, and told him of these three men who only prayed to their Lord, and would not pray to this statue. This infuriated the king, and he sent the men into the fire. To everyone’s astonishment, inside they saw 4 men standing there.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
– Daniel 3:25
When the king saw this, he commanded the men to come out. He was so impressed by not only their faith, but the fact that their God came through for them.
Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
– Daniel 3:28
You see, these three men trusted their God so much that even when faced with the worst circumstance, they stood tall. I bet they had moments of fear, maybe they even questioned if they were crazy for not giving in.. I mean they could just fake it right? Nope.. they knew better than that. They knew that their God is a mighty force to be reckoned with, and no opponent is too large for Him to conquer.
Read on for four faith building lessons we can learn from these courageous men..
The enemy does not have the authority to go against the will of God.
One of the major lessons that we learn from this story is that even though the enemy will try to defeat us, using pretty much any strategy he can, he is no match for God. The Lord may have allowed Satan to bring them as far as he did, but he was not able to take them out of God’s hands. We won’t have to face a situation as extreme as they did, but for us maybe it’s something like a failing marriage, bankruptcy, cancer, or a relentless battle in your mind. Whatever mountain the enemy is putting in front of you, I can assure you of this.. it is NOT bigger than The Lord God Almighty! If He can save these three men from the depths of that furnace, then by golly He can no doubt save you from whatever you are facing, too.
The Lord is always with us, even right in the middle of our fire.
Something that I find so beautiful about this story is that, not only did The Lord save them from the trial that stood before them, but He was right there with them. He didn’t observe their suffering from afar, but He met them in the midst of it. When these three men were in the fire, a fourth man was in there too. It says that He looked like The Son of God. I think this really shows us what kind of love our Lord has for us. He doesn’t just see us as these insignificant beings, but He sees us as His children, His beloved, and He won’t ever allow us to face anything on our own. If we follow the lead of these men, by staying loyal to our God, and not giving in to the temptations of the devil, then He is more than faithful to stand next to us, and bring us through.
The attacks will be most intense when we are at our strongest in our walk with Christ.
Satan wants to see us give up, and crumble under the pressure of it all. He thinks that if he can bring us to a place of complete “hopelessness” then we will just surrender to him. But remember this, if the war in your life is raging more than you have ever seen before, then there’s a good chance you are doing something right. Satan will attack God’s most faithful servants hardest because he knows that they are a threat to his plans. These three were very Godly men.. Satan knew that he had to up his game if he stood any chance of getting them to forfeit. He figured he had no other choice but to push them to their limits. But don’t let that discourage you, The Lord rescued them, and He will rescue you too.
Even if The Lord doesn’t deliver us in the way that we think He should, we must still obey Him.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
– Daniel 3:17-18
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were faced with a pretty intense decision.. I mean probably the most intense decision. They had to choose to continue to serve their God or to lose everything. They believed that their Lord would come through for them and save them, but really they didn’t have any proof. They had to take the biggest step in faith, and just believe. But what I find to be so cool is that even though they trusted in God, they still acknowledged the possibility that things might not turn out all peachy keen for them. They knew that sometimes The Lord has other plans, plans that we don’t understand, but they decided that even if the outcome was less than ideal, it was worth it to stay true to their God. This is what real trust, and dedication is; staying loyal to The One you serve, even when His will isn’t what you hoped it would be.
I know how discouraging it can be to feel like you are being obedient, and still you keep getting met with obstacles. But don’t ever think it’s all in vain.. don’t ever believe the lie that it would just be easier to surrender. Yes, opposition will come.. but our God is bigger! Take an example from the many people in The Bible who had to face great tribulations in order to achieve what God had planned for them.. Do you think it was easy? Goodness no.. Do you think they had moments where they wanted to give up… You can bet your bottom dollar they did! But if you could ask them today if it was all worth it, do you think they’d say yes?.. I know they would.
We’re only human.. and our Savior knows that. But I promise you this, He will never allow you to face the hardships of this life alone. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego witnessed first hand.. If we trust in our Lord, believing in His goodness, and we stand up for what we know is right, our God will not only deliver us, but He will be standing right there next to us in the midst of the fire.
What story in The Bible strengthens your faith?
Is there a lesson in this story that you have learned?
Leave me a comment.
And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
– Matthew 28:20
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