S21P36 – Portraits of faith: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Daniel 3:17-18
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Our faith is the ultimate challenge. We are asked to give all that we have, all that we are and all that we love to God and let him do as He wills. It can be difficult for some to hand over to him things like their careers or their finances. It can be even more difficult to give God our loves ones, or our life’s plans and desires. God, however, wants even more than that. He wants it all. But we are not to offer ourselves to him begrudgingly or reluctantly. God’s desire is for us to gladly sacrifice ourselves for his name’s sake.

Have you ever met someone who refused to let go of something good to take hold of something better? When we are called to give our lives for God even in the face of certain death, it is because this is an exchange for something greater than what we have here. This natural life is a vapor, and it passes all too quickly. We can hold on tight and refuse to let go, but one day we will be left with nothing to hold. God knows that, and He offers a greater life that will never end. We cannot grab onto that greater life without letting go of this life first, but we must trust that the greater life God offers is worth the sacrifice.

Look at the world around you, and ask yourself why anyone would mind letting go of this life. Yes, we experience joy and loving relationships, and we understand that God has given us every day that we spend here, but we must recognize that all of the goodness we happen to find here is only a shadow of what is to come once God has restored all things to himself. Father, help us to value every moment that You allow us to live in this order of things, but keep our faith and our eyes on the glorious life that You have waiting for those who are faithful.