Read Daniel 3:1-30
What they did not see were the details.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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 . . .” (Daniel 3:16-17).
Because Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood firm on what they hoped for, they were able to walk, unafraid, right through the furious flames of a furnace.
Their God-fearing faith made these three men conquer flames and quench fury.
We find fury throughout this story. Their refusal to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s huge trophy made him furious (v13). Later, their immovable stance filled the king with such fury that his entire countenance changed (v19). And then there was the fire. The flames so furious they killed anyone who even came close. Anyone, that is, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Dropped into a raging fire because of a tyrant’s raging jealousy, these three knew that God would take care of them. They knew He would come to their rescue, whether on this side of eternity or the other. So they stood unafraid, unwilling to forsake the God they served.
“But even if he does not . . . we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (v18).
Shadrach, Mechach and Abednego knew their God was the only One worth fearing.
I wonder if their focused fear of God wavered when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the furnace seven times hotter. Sure, they had what it took to overcome their anxiety, but did their stomachs turn even a little bit when they were tied up? Did they wonder why God had not rescued them from the heat?
I don’t know. I do know this, however: Shadrach’s, Meshach’s and Abednego’s unafraid ended in two miracles such as one cannot dispute. First, they remained untouched by the fury of the flames. Secondly, King Nebuchadnezzar praised the One true God because of it.
Even as they fell into the furious flames, the God they feared met them inside. He rescued them from the fury and then used them to quench it.
Unafraid faith extinguishes fires of all kinds. Sure, it might enrage the fury of some. But faith that chooses to see like God sees quenches the fury inside that terrifies us and make us want to run the other way. It’s faith that overcomes the wrong kind of fear. When we live in the certainty of what we do not see, we break through anxiety, and God meets us there.
Break Through Worry by Pastor Nick Cleveland
15 Bible Verses for Trusting God in Tough Times by Rachel Wojo
The Unafraid Manifesto by Brianna Wasson (That’s me.)
An interview with John Piper with John Piper about casting fear on God
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp