What a story! Three young men who refused to treat their king as a god ended up walking around in a furnace (Dan. 3:21-25). The furnace was so hot that the committee in charge of incineration died from the heat (v.22), but these three young champions hardly broke a sweat.
Many stories of heroism don’t end that way. A missionary is captured by bandits, and in spite of many prayers he is murdered. Dietrich Bonhoeffer defies the Nazis in the name of God, but a few days before the war ends, he is executed. Why wasn’t God “in the furnace” then?
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego could have ended in their violent deaths. Those three young men knew that, for they said, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us . . . . But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods” (Dan. 3:17-18).
We may not be in a furnace, but we may be in an uncomfortable, even desperate spot. When we aren’t delivered out of our “hot spot,” is God still God to us? Or do we feel cheated because He hasn’t come through as we wanted?
This story pushes me. Am I willing to serve God even if I get no payoff? Will I say, “The God whom I serve is able to deliver me; but if not, I refuse to serve other gods”?
I cannot see my Savior's hand
Which demonstrates His will,
But I by faith can understand
A promise He'll fulfill. —Anon.
The essence of Faith is the willingness to serve God without a guarantee.