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 3:17-18 ESV
All over the world at this present moment men and women are being persecuted for their faith. Following Jesus cost them incredibly. Continual sacrifice and even death in many cases is what they are willing to do for the One they love. They do not know our western woes, nor would they understand them if they did. They do not get caught up in the stuff we hide behind. They know following means everything they are is sacrificed.
These men and women do not take for granted the things we so easily ignore, like the pleasure of gathering with brothers and sisters publicly to testify of a God who is faithful. They would so richly drink of the thing we often put at the bottom of our list of things to do.
They understand the true value of fellowship and of partaking of the word together. They understand that one more gathering could give them just enough strength to withstand the persecution they will face tomorrow. They know that the fellowship and love of the family of God walking the same road with them will be strength, just as God intended. They are not alone and others are enduring under the most trying of situations with them all over the world.
Their sacrifice although costly is not in vain. No sacrifice for Truth and following God is ever in vain.
In the word, we have three Hebrew boys who suffered persecution. They were living in a time where the king wanted to be god. He demanded worship from everyone, but these young men refused to compromise because they knew of a God who was worthy of their unwavering devotion. They refused to bow and it resulted in a trip into the fire. However, this experience did not turn out quite like the king may have thought. There, all of a sudden, was a fourth man in the fire. They did not go though this trial alone. God was with them in their fire. God is with those today experiencing persecution all over the world. He is in their fire and He is in yours.
Standing for truth may cost but imagine the glory revealed when the all consuming fire consumes everything man made to worship. He brings His sons and daughters out, without any evidence of having ever been in there in the first place.
Today I am grateful for the fourth man in the fire. I can speak to the truth that He has always been with me in my trials. I have never known the persecution like these boys, nor like many are facing today, but I can tell you He was there for them then and He is here for us now. My God is faithful. I pray I be found faithful to Him.