As Daniel’s three friends are threatened with death when they stand up for their faith, they are ready to explain what it more important than life itself. Their faith and worship of their God will not let them worship any other idol or god. Daniel 3: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
They didn’t have a chance to consider what it was they really believed. They were put on the spot, but they were ready. Generations later Peter would write in his first letter: 3: 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So, don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
In this stressful time of pandemic, lots of comments get posted on social media. People are trying to connect in some way, and they have more time than usual on the internet. As a result, I’ve observed bullying when people try to explain their faith. Believers are put down with cuss words. Unfortunately, it is much easier to type a snarky remark than to actual say it in front of the person. As believers we can only be respectful and as kind as possible as we give our testimony. Paul said it well in Romans 12: 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Realize that some people won’t listen and will respond with anger, just as King Nebuchadnezzar did with Daniel’s friends. But remember, as in our story, God can turn even this for good. To hear more about Daniel’s friends, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/daniel-a-man-of-character/trial-by-fire
[1,2,3] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.