We love to think of faith as some type of vaccine against evil and suffering, but that just isn't true. Faith offers no exemptions from difficulties. Faith does however offer perspective and hope for those going through even the most trying of times. The story three Hebrew teenagers whose convictions and faith came under fire teaches us much about a faith that can weather the painful of experiences.
1. The three Hebrews did not bow to Nebuchadnezzar. If you were in their shoes, would you have had the courage to defy someone with so much power? Has there been a situation in your life where you went with the crowd even if you felt it was wrong? Has there been a situation where you went against the crowd even though it was difficult?
2. Has there been a time in your life where you found yourself able to justify doing something you wanted to do even when you knew it wasn't the right thing to do?
3. How can circumstances begin to change what we believe to be true about God?
4. It is one thing to believe that God is able, that He can do something, but it is quite another to be at peace with the possibility that He may choose to not to do whatever it is we would like him to do. Have you ever experienced a time when you were okay if God didn't act?
5. Early in the story, Daniel and his friends decided to do the right thing before they knew how everything would play out. Why is this often hard to do in life?
6. What are some things we can find ourselves wanting to bow before though we know it isn't the best thing to do?
Write this down and declare it daily: “God can. God may not. Either way I am going to be alright.”
Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.