Monday Memo 1140: The Fire

Let's continue to examine the life of Daniel in our 'Never Too Young for Purpose' series. This week, we will take a look at the well-known story of Daniel's friends being thrown into a blazing furnace because they refused to bow down and worship the king's golden image, telling him,

“Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up" (Daniel 3:16-18).

Their response made the king furious so he ordered his servants to make a nearby furnace seven times hotter than usual. His servants were then to throw the three young men into its fire. Keep in mind that these young men were just that—young. They were probably in their late teenage years, but they knew bowing down to an idol was wrong. So they stood up to the king and disobeyed his orders, confident that God could save them in the fire, but determined to stand their ground even if God didn't save them. They knew what they had to do.

Of course, we know that God did save them. In fact, God was in the fire with them, for the king and people saw not three men in the furnace but four! When the king saw them all walking around unharmed by the flames, he cried out,

“Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Servants of the Supreme God! Come out!” And they came out at once. All the princes, governors, lieutenant governors, and other officials of the king gathered to look at the three men, who had not been harmed by the fire. Their hair was not singed, their clothes were not burned, and there was no smell of smoke on them (Daniel 3:26-27).

These young men were where God wanted them to be, doing what He wanted them to do, but that didn't mean they were exempt from difficult times as they served their God. The same is true for you. God wants you to know His purpose for your life but as you pursue it, you will go through things you never thought you would. God will use those things not only to prove to you and others that He is with you, but also to build your faith in His ability to protect you in tough times. James explained it best when he wrote to us,

My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).

If you are a young person of purpose, are you ready to stand for the Lord even when you have to face the fire of criticism, misunderstanding, or strong, seemingly overwhelming opposition? Can you take a determined decision to serve God when it seems like it is not in your best interests to do so? Daniel's friends did what was right when everyone else around them did what was wrong, and God was watching. Be sure that God will be watching you and applauding from heaven as you remain true to Him, knowing that as you are, He will be true to you. Have a blessed week!

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