Let’s face it, 2020 isn’t the year any of us planned. In fact, for many it’s been an exhausting and tiresome year. With the Covid-19 Pandemic, social issues, and the U.S. Election, and not to mention our own personal problems, many are running on empty. As a reader, you probably can relate. As we approach the end of 2020, you might feel like quitting. You maybe tempted to quit your job, quit on your family, quit on those trusting you to lead, quit on God, or even quit living your life. As we look at three people who found the strength to continue, even in the midst of their struggle, my hope and prayer is that you are encouraged to not quit, but to stand strong.
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego
In the Old Testament, there is a book written by a man named Daniel. In the book, Daniel records events that took place from 605 B.C. to around 536 B.C. Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, became exiles of the Babylonian Empire after King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem. During their time under the Babylonian Empire, Daniel and his friends served King Nebuchadnezzar while serving the Lord faithfully. However, their faithfulness to God was about to be tested.
As the king, Nebuchadnezzar decided to have a golden statue of himself built and ordered that everyone was to bow down and worship it. This became a defining moment for Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego because they had to decide who they were more loyal to; God, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or the earthly ruler king Nebuchadnezzar. In the end, they decide to be faithful and loyal to God and not bow down to the golden statue.
When the king found out, he became furious and ordered the men to explain themselves. King Nebuchadnezzar threatened their lives by throwing them into a fiery furnace if they did not worship the golden statue. With their earthly lives on the line, here is how they responded;
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.””-Daniel 3:16-18 ESV
Wow! Can you believe these guys?! With their lives threaten, it would have been understandable for them to bow down, but they did not bend. Where does this type of strength come from? Only from having complete trust and faith in the Lord. Notice their answer to the king. They are saying to Nebuchadnezzar, “Go ahead and throw us in the fire, we have full confidence that the Lord will save us. And even if He doesn’t, we will still faithfully serve Him above you.”
Talk about conviction and strength. Talk about not compromising on their belief and principles. In a world today that seems so chaotic and with all the trappings of the world, it is very easy to “bow down and worship the golden statue.” That “golden statue” is different for everyone, especially in seasons when you feel like quitting. Maybe you cave in and drink too much alcoholic beverages to numb the pain. Maybe it’s pornography when life at home is too stressful. Maybe it’s “selling your soul” to gain that top promotion in your job and you’ll compromise on the principles you stand on.
I don’t know what the “golden statue” is for you, but don’t bend and bow down to it! The Lord Jesus Christ can give you the strength to overcome the pain you are dealing with. He can give you the wisdom and guidance on how to lead your family. He can teach you how to serve others faithfully without compromising your faith. If Jesus Christ was able to conquer death, He is able to conquer the sins in your life that are keeping you in bondage. Jesus Christ Himself said;
“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”-Revelation 1:17b-18
If you are in Christ, we have nothing to fear. Jesus is fully in control. The question is, do you have the faith and trust that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had? Want to know what happened to them? I encourage you to open up your bible to the book of Daniel and read chapter 3. Even if it doesn’t seem like it right away, God will come through, no matter the fire that is taking place.
-Michael A. Kubus
Podcast Coming January 2021!
Last week I posted that we will be launching a podcast that will be coming in the new year! An introductory episode will be available on Monday December 21st. Between now and then, you can subscribe to the podcast by clicking here. I am personally excited as we start this new adventure and I appreciate all of your prayers and support!
Book of the Month
I was recommended to read this book by Senior Pastor John Decker of Morning Star Fellowship in Quakertown Pennsylvania. For all you history buffs out there, you will love this book, 7 Men and 7 Women by Eric Metaxas as he explores the lives of 7 men and women in history.
In this new, one-volume edition that brings together two of his most popular works, #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas explores the question of what makes a great person great? Seven Men and Seven Women tells the captivating stories of fourteen heroic individuals who changed the course of history and shaped the world in astonishing ways. George Washington led his country to independence yet resisted the temptation to become America’s king. William Wilberforce led the fight to end the slave trade, giving up his chance to be England’s prime minister. Susanna Wesley, the mother of nineteen children, gave the world its most significant evangelist and its greatest hymn-writer, her sons John and Charles. Jackie Robison endured the threats and abuse of racists with unimaginable dignity and strength. Corrie ten Boom risked her life to hide Dutch Jews from the Nazis in World War II and survived the horrors of a concentration camp–and forgave her tormentors years later. And Rosa Parks’s God-given sense of justice and unshakable dignity helped launch the twentieth century’s greatest social movement. These and other lives profiled in Seven Men and Seven Women reveal how reveal the secret to a life of greatness–by responding to call to live for something greater than oneself.
Eric Metaxas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, If You Can Keep It, Miracles, Seven Women, Seven Men, and Amazing Grace. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the New Yorker, and Metaxas has appeared as a cultural commentator on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. He is the host of The Eric Metaxas Radio Show, a daily nationally syndicated show aired in 120 U.S. cities and on TBN. Metaxas is also the founder of Socrates in the City, the acclaimed series of conversations on “life, God, and other small topics,” featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, Baroness Caroline Cox, and Dick Cavett, among many others. He is a senior fellow and lecturer at large at the King’s College in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and daughter.