It’s easy to trust God when things go well in our lives. But if you only claim to believe when things are ok in your life, then your faith is weak. It is in the hard times, in times of trouble that you get to realize if your faith is truly solid or not. The measure of your faith is never known in time of peace, but only in difficult times. Whatever you believe about God, about the world, about yourself will be challenged. Will you be able to stand for what you believe? This is one of the greatest problems with our faith in Christ in our society. We claim to believe in his word, his teaching. But this is not evident in how we live as his followers. Is your faith evident around others? Is it evident even in the midst of difficult times? Whatever you choose to believe will be tested and it will be after the test that you will know whether your faith is unshakeable or not.
The Jewish people went through the most difficult times in their history. In 586 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the city of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple Solomon had built; took the temple treasury to Babylon. He took captive some of the survivors to work in the provinces of Babylon. Among some of the prisoners was a man named Daniel. This is known as the Babylonian captivity or Exile.
– Here the Jews had no temple, or Mosaic law to guide themselves.
– No priests, sacrifices, holy feasts, or offerings. All these things were gone.
– NO family traditions, your right as a nation were taken away. They belonged to the king of Babylon.
There would be nothing there that would remind them of the LORD.
Would you still worship and honor God if you don’t have a church building? A Bible? A pastor or church leader? Would you still worship God if those around you don’t?
Daniel had three friends who were taken captive with him. A lot of things changed for Daniel and his friends. The king put them in charge of the affairs of the provinces because they were smart and good looking. They were always tempted to worship other gods; to go with the culture and so forth.
Their names got changed from Hebrew names to Babylonian names. (Dan.1:6-8)
Daniel (Yahweh is my judge)———-………………..Belteshazzar (Bel protects the king)
Hananiah (Yahweh has been gracious)……………….Shadrack (Command of Aku, the moon god)
Mishael (Who is like Yahweh)…………………………….Meshack (who is like Aku?)
Azariah (Yahweh has helped)…………………………….Abednego (servant of a god)
Even though they gave them Babylonian names, these young men made the choice to be faithful to Yahweh even in the midst of a pagan culture. But their faith in God was severely tested.
King Nebuchadnezar made a statue and ordered that all people would worship this image at the sound of music. (Da,3:4-6) Everyone in the Babylonian kingdom bowed down to the statue for it was a do or die.
The Jews were denounced (v.8-12)
Nebuchadnezzar was furious to find out some Jews didn’t pay attention to his decree. (v.13)
The king gives the three men a chance to do what everyone in the kingdom is doing. (v.14-15)
– You don’t have to die; all you have to do is worship the image. I will give you another chance, but if you refuse no one will save you from the furnace.
The three men’s reply (v.16-18)
“We don’t need to answer you in this matter” (ESV) “We don’t need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” NIV
These men had already made their decision. When I think about their faith, there is a word that comes to mind. “CONVICTION” This is what most people in America are lacking.
Listen to their response: IF we are thrown in the fiery furnace, The God we serve is able to save us from it and from your hand.
But if God chooses not to save us, we are still not going to disobey him by worshiping other gods. We will worship our God whether we live or die. This is conviction, and it’s shown in the way they lived and the way the acted.
Conviction: Webster: A strong belief or opinion. A feeling of being sure that what you believe is true. Synonym: (assurance, confidence, certainty).
A lot of people may believe something but not be truly convinced about it. They are not sure and it is reflected in how they live. These men knew exactly what God had said about not worshiping idols and they would rather die than to disobey their LORD.
They were convicted that their God is powerful enough to rescue them from danger. They also knew that God at times may choose to not intervene on their behalf.
There are many people today who lack conviction in their beliefs. Conviction only develops when you feel convicted and many people don’t want to be convicted today. They are content just going through the motion or keeping the status quo in their walk with God
It’s conviction that shows why your faith is unshakeable.
–Many claim to believe God that God is able, but they act as if he is not.
You believe our body is God’s temple, but we trash it all the time, we think we can do whatever we want to it; we act as if it’s truly our body. If we truly believe that God is going to hold us accountable for what or how we keep our bodies then we would make changes that would prolong the health and vitality of the body. Conviction!
-God expects us to be stewards of what he has entrusted to us.
If we truly believe God is always with us, why do we panic when we are hit with the storms. Lack of conviction.
If we know God expects us to grow in knowledge of him, why then don’t we strive to read his word and study more?
People were praying for rain in a town and only one person took an umbrella, this is conviction.
Two farmers pray to God for rain, but only one went and prepared the field to wait for the rain. This is conviction.
Unshakeable faith brings honor to God. These men were rescued by God from the furnace and the king even praised God because of them. v.28-30
God was praised even by a pagan king because of the faith of these men.
Is your faith bringing honor to God today? Is it unshakeable or does it lack conviction?
Do you truly want to have a supernatural faith in this world? Then open your heart and mind to God’s word and let it convict you, let it transform you; then your faith will be unshakeable.