(Once again, while anyone is welcome to read this post, these Thursday Morning Reflections are meant specifically for those who are in the Bible study I am leading on Wednesday nights. And thank you to those of you who come out–I love being there with you all on Wednesdays!).
Last night we were inspired by the courage of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, three young men under incredible pressure to conform to the culture of Babylon. In fact they were threatened with an excruciating death if they would not bow their knee, Yet, they stood their ground and made one of the greatest statements of faith in the Bible: Our God is able to save us. He is willing to save us. And even if He doesn’t save us we are not going to bow!
Wow! Where did this courage come from? I believe it was rooted in their faith in God and supported by their knowledge of who they were. Babylon had changed their names and tried to strip them of their identity. The world could call them whatever it wanted to call them, but they knew who they were–they were Jews, followers of Jehovah. When they were first taken as captives they made a decision and resolved that they would not defile themselves. In a sense they drew a proverbial line in the sand and said they would not cross it. That resolve was still evident years later. They would obey God and God only, even under threat of death. It is one thing to say “God I trust you.” It is another thing to have actions which support that statement. They knew they could trust in God’s goodness and power and his willingness to act on their behalf. As you know from our study last night, God came through for them in a mighty way! And also as we discussed last night, this God is the same God we serve. And he is still good, he is still able, he is still willing to act on our behalf. Have we drawn our line in the sand? In the Old Testament, Joshua did this when he said that as for he and his house, they would serve the Lord. In the New Testament, Peter and John did it when they said they would obey God rather than man. It is our turn now. We are the ones on center stage and we have incredible examples of faith to inspire us. When our faith is rooted in Christ it gives us access to incredible courage in difficult circumstances. Where is your line? What is your statement? Trust him and then let your actions fall inline with that confession.
As we closed last night there were two verses to consider memorizing. The first one focuses on trust followed by obedient actions. You might consider this one if you are up against some difficult situation and you are wanting to handle it God’s way. Here is it:
The second one focuses more on the peace God provides when we keep our focus on him. There is no Bible study next week so I am going to write a supplementary post next Thursday specifically on having peace in crazy or alarming circumstances. You might consider memorizing this verse if you are currently in the midst of a trial or fiery situation and need peace. Here you go: