Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 ESV)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faced with a difficult situation; bow before a false god or be thrown into the fiery furnace. But no matter what they did, they faced a death…
…with one key difference:
One of the deaths would actually be Life.
What these three faithful men exhibited was an Easter faith. In the face of worldly pressure they did not give in. They did not bow under pressure (pun intended). They did not fear the king despite the rage he was showing. For Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they feared God and trusted God. Nebuchadnezzar’s god was not going to save them in the end; but their God (and ours) would.
This is Easter faith.
Is that your faith?
As we reflect on this Holy Tuesday; looking forward to Manudy Thursday and Good Friday, let us think about this Easter faith. It’s a faith given to us by God through the Holy Spirit; a faith that defies worldly death; and a faith that gives hope. You may never be threatened with a fiery furnace as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were, but you will face a “fiery furnace” of some type in this world. Your faith will be threatened. You will be told to abandon your faith in order to embrace a new world order. You will be told to compromise your faith in the name of equality. You will be tempted to look away from your faith in order to avoid punishment or persecution.
You will stare down an angry Nebuchadnezzar and be forced to make a decision: His fiery furnace or God’s.
Remember your Easter faith and what Jesus did to secure said faith. Hold tight to the hope of the resurrection and let the fiery furnaces of this world heat up; knowing that God will make sure that not a hair on your head is singed.
God of Life, grant us strength as we face the fiery furnaces of this world that we may stand strong in order to bring You glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—