The Challenge of Extreme Pressure – Part 1

The king made a giant gold image of himself to be worshiped.
1. The world creates larger than life images for me to worship. See Daniel 3:1-7
2. I’m tempted to create a false image of myself to impress others.
3. If I reject the world’s idols, people will try to burn me.
See Daniel 3:8-12
4. Doing the right thing always makes some people angry.
See Daniel 3:13-15
1. DON’T worry about defending myself.
Daniel 3:16 – Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to defend ourselves in this matter.’
2. REMEMBER that God has the power to save us.
Daniel 3:17a – IF we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we worship is ABLE to save us!
3. Believe God will save me.
Daniel 3:17b – And HE WILL save us from your power, O king.
Isaiah 43:2-3a – WHEN you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. WHEN you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! WHEN you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you! For I am the Lord, your God!
4. I announce my loyalty to God no matter what.
Daniel 3:18 – But even if God DOESN’T save us, we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.
1. God will walk through the fire with me.
Daniel 3:24-25 – But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and asked his advisers. “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace? ‘Yes, we did,’ they said, ‘Well look no,’ he shouted, ‘Well look now,’ he shouted. ‘You can see four men now, unbound, walking around freely in the fire, unharmed, and the fourth man looks like the son of the gods!’
2. God will burn off everything tying me down.
Isaiah 48:10 – I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
3. God will give me a new freedom.
Psalm 66:12 – You let captors set foot on our neck; then we went through fire and water and you led us out to freedom.
4. God makes sure I come out unharmed.
Daniel 3:26-27 – Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come out at once!’ So, the 3 men stepped out of the fire. Then the princes, prefects, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!
5. It will bring unbelievers to God.
Daniel 3:28 – Then the king said ‘Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who sent his angel to rescue his servants. They trusted in Him. They defied my command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.’
Daniel 3:29-30 – ‘Therefore, I make this decree: If anyone says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be put to death, and their houses will be destroyed. There is no other go who can save anyone like this!’ Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.
6. God will reward my faith in heaven.
I Cor. 3:10b-15 – Each of us must be careful how we build (our lives), because Christ is the only solid foundation. Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire. If what we built is left standing, we will be rewarded! But if what we’ve built is burned up by the fire, we will lose our reward. Yet we will be saved, like someone escaping from flames.

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