Daniel 3:28-29 (NIV)
28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
King Nebuchadnezzar was impressed by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s faith. The men had refused to worship the king’s idol and were thrown into a blazing furnace as punishment. But God saved them from the fire—there wasn’t so much as a singed hair.
Nebuchadnezzar was certainly impressed with the miracle, but maybe even more impressed with the fact that, although these men faced certain death, they remained faithful to God. Had they decided to save their own lives by worshipping the idol, Nebuchadnezzar would have said, “See, I knew your God was worthless!” His conversion never would have happened.
Our faith—or lack of faith—can influence other people, too. When we remain faithful to God by staying true to our convictions and moral standards, especially when faced with great opposition or difficulties, it sends a message to people: This person finds his or her religion meaningful. But if we quickly bail on our beliefs and easily compromise our values, that sends a message, too: All that church stuff is worthless. Our faithfulness can be our loudest witness.
What belief or conviction do you find challenging to uphold? Be in prayer about that. Also, consider setting up a support network with your youth leader or a close friend. Talk about your challenges and ways you can encourage one another and hold each other accountable.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.