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“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
All eyes are on you. Someone in your group of friends has just delivered a scathing five-minute monologue on the foolishness of Christianity, and most everyone in the conversation knows you’re a Christian. So what do you say in that moment? The challenge is to respond with grace, giving a loving defense of the God you serve. But it’s far easier to laugh it off, remaining silent about your faith.
I’m sorry to admit that I’ve taken the easy way out countless times in my life. Standing up for what you believe in the face of ridicule and intolerance is incredibly difficult.
It makes the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that much more palpable. Here they were, standing before King Nebuchadnezzar — the most powerful man in the world — when he called their faith into question. Instead of taking the easy way out, instead of bowing before the king to worship him, they refused to budge.
While the furnace blazed, they said they trusted that God would keep them safe. And even if He didn’t save them, it didn’t matter; they wouldn’t worship anyone but God.
That kind of trust is awe-inspiring. That kind of faith is intense. And God honored it — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did in fact survive the furnace. Not a hair on their bodies was singed, when the workers who threw them in burned alive.
In the same way, God sees those moments when you stand up for Him. Will you trust Him to be with you when you boldly step out in faith?
Dear God, thank You for Your grace, even when we fail to stand up for You. Forgive us when we remain silent about what You’ve done for us. Give us boldness and courage to share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Think back to a time when you missed an opportunity to stand up for Christ. Ask God for His forgiveness, and that He would give you courage the next time around.
Further reading: God Gave me a Second Chance!