By Pastor Mark Giancola (January 20, 2022)
(v. 17-18) “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.”
I am always encouraged when I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their story always challenges me and builds my faith. How do these men get to the point where they are able to stand so boldly for their faith? To answer this, we must go back to Daniel chapter 1 and look at their humble beginnings: how as teenagers they were taken into captivity and brought to a foreign land, striped of all their comforts, families, culture, and way of life. Then they were introduced into the Babylonian society and all its pagan ways. They could have let their situation change their hearts and taken on the new culture they were being taught.
Who would have blamed them? Their families were gone, and they were living in a new land whose leaders wanted them to become immersed in the Babylonian way of life, and provided everything they needed to do just that.
Be encouraged that the seemingly small sacrifices you make today are building faith in you. Whether it is fasting, abstaining, giving etc. Your sacrifices are not unseen and they are preparing you for the challenges that lay ahead. You too will stand like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and know that you are not alone.[PRAYER]