Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Courageous Faith

The bible has numerous stories of people with courageous faith. One is the well-known story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego who were cast into a fiery furnace because they chose to follow God instead of the King’s decree to worship his statue. Another story of courage is the story of Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den because he honored God by praying which went against the king’s commandment. In both stories the men demonstrated that their relationships with God were more important than the ideas of society even when faced with fatal punishments.

At times, we will be encounter difficult and uncomfortable situations, it is during these times that God does his greatest work, when we trust him. In the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego while they were in the fire God appeared in their midst and they were not burned. As a result, the King made a decree for everyone to worship the real God. “ then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 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. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Daniel 3:28-29  This example is extremely powerful because in their obedience to God they changed a nation! God delivered them, kept them from harm, and walked among them. King Nebuchadnezzar was so moved by the events that he called the entire nation to recognize the true God.

Through their obedience to God in the face of great opposition God protected them. Similarly, Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den because he worshipped God which was a direct violation of the king’s declaration. Daniel was forced to stay in the pit with lions for an entire night, but was not harmed. The King made a decree for all to worship the living God. “ …so Daniel was taken up out of the den, no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God…Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth… I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.” Daniel 6:23, 25-26 Daniel’s decision to obey God resulted in a nation acknowledging the real God.

When facing the choice to make the right decision that may not be the popular idea of society and may come with punishment remember the heroes of the bible and the challenges they faced. Remember that God protected and delivered them out of their circumstances. Recall that God’s glory will be manifested when we obey him.


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