In Daniel Chapter 1 we read of the testing that Daniel and the Three Hebrew Boys faced, but in Daniel Chapter 3, there is a time of testing that only Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (the Three Hebrew Boys) receive.
Once again the King challenged their obedience as they were commanded to worship an Idol. Again, we see that because if their prior and constant study of the word of God, they were prepared for the pop quiz.
In the reading of the chapter, we see that because they chose to obey God rather than the King, they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Amazingly, the only things that burned on them was the ropes that kept them bound. More amazing than this, Jesus Christ enters the flames with them, who they worshiped while in the fire.
This whole event helps with the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar in becoming a follower of God…. If you find this to be strange, it is even weirder to find out that the 4th chapter of Daniel was written by Nebuchadnezzar himself.
The test that these three boys faced was not only for themselves, but for others to learn of the God whom they serve. In college, there are many instances where friends and acquaintances try to get us to disobey the word of God. You may be pressured to engage in drinking, drug use, sexual activity and much more. Often times we may even fall to the pressure to engage in these activities, as I did when I was in college.
Let us be thankful that Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross for us, and we have the opportunity to ask for forgiveness of our sins….. His promise to us is, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Here are some ways to faithfully stand for God never falling to peer pressure and these activities again…. 1) Just as the Three Hebrew Boys had prior knowledge of the word of God concerning what they were being pressured into, you need to study up on and memorize scriptures dealing with the ungodly activities that you may be being pressured into. How can this help you may ask? “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” Psalm 119:11….. Recite these texts in time of peer pressure and weakness, and Jesus Christ will give you the strength to stand true to Him
2) I understand that taking a stand for God may make you look uncool as the majority of College students are focused on having a good time just as much as they desire to get good grades. Knowing this, seek God in prayer for the strength to take ridicule from your friends and/or acquaintances, as the jokes, and mocking will come. I beg you to not worry about this because the word of God tells us “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” Proverbs 16:18…
That scripture sums up well the individuals who mocked the three Hebrew Boys and pressured the King to throw them in the fiery furnace. The Three Hebrew Boys endured the mistreatment from these prideful individuals who probably haughtily laughed when they were throne in the fiery furnace. In the end, it was they who were thrown in the furnace, not being spared from the destructing flames. Those who mock you will have their day, and you do not want any part of the punishment that they will receive, but rather, pray “for your enemies, bless them that curse you, and do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44)
3) As you are going through this hard time, worship God and praise his name. Why? Because the trials that we face is for the development of or Christian Character (James 1:2-3)… As we take our stand for Him, God is developing our spiritual muscles so that we can become more faithful than we are now. True Christians worship God in the good and the bad; In times of prosperity and in times trials. Can you worship and praise God in the fire like the Thee Hebrew Boys? Pray and ask God to give you the heart to find things to praise him for during hard times.
If you follow this, at the end of it all, all who opposed your views will see the Character of Christ in you just as King Nebuchadnezzar saw Jesus Christ in the flames with the Three Hebrew Boys. The sight of Christ in you will make you so peculiar to them that they will become full of curiosity of this God you serve. There will be a decision that they have to make within themselves….. Will they scratch the itch of this curiosity by asking you to know more about Jesus Christ, or will they deny the Uplifted Savior that is undeniably seen through your daily life.
Just as the Three Hebrew Boys faced off against the norms of the then known world, you will have the same experience on your campus….. The question is……Will you follow their example???? It is you against the world, but remember this, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1 John 4:4