"... If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of god you have set up." Daniel 3:17, 18
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are all speaking to King Nebuchadnezzar here. The king has ordered everyone to bow down to a statue he has made or else be thrown into a fire. I think most Christians are familiar with this Bible story, from childhood.
Many times we come to God with our requests, our prayers and petitions...our faith precariously perched on the outcome of those prayers and petitions. Will He or won't He? Like a flower petaled game of He loves me, He loves me not, right?
These three young men indicated that they believed with all their heart that God *was* going to save them. It wasn't a doubtful question, it was a declaration. He will rescue us us from your hand... They sound pretty confident to me. Not wishy washy, not hesitant in their approach.
God was testing their faith! Was he? Testing? Was failure an option? It seems to me their faith was already pretty high. Perhaps God wasn't testing, as much as he was building, their faith. Faith that was already there. Even more so, building the faith of others, those around them. Using their confidence in Him, to encourage and uplift other believers...and unbelievers.
In their next lines to the king, they wanted to be clear. They wanted the king to lean in close and listen to their words, they wanted him to know; But even if he does not. They were fully aware of the sovereignty of God. It wasn't a moment of doubt, it was a moment of confidence...we will not serve your gods or worship the image of the gold you have set up.
No matter what was going to happen, they were confident in their God and in their faith. The outcome was not going to change their outlook.
How many times must we falter? Is our faith dependent on God answering our prayers in our favor? If He doesn't, are we disappointed and for a moment, we falter and hesitate?
We can stand firm in our belief and faith in God even when things are not going our way. Times get tough in this life, it's a fact. We can stay secure in the knowledge of the God we serve and worship, there need not be any doubt nor fear of failure, from either side. We rest assured that we are His children, even if He does not, answer the way we want. It is not necessary to make every crisis or trial into a make-or-break moment of faith. Maybe it's *just* a crisis. We can experience crisis with the peace and grace of God guiding our actions. We can be still and know....that He is God.