Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Open Your Bible

Daniel 3:1-30, Isaiah 43:2

Even if not, He is still good. I’ve seen that phrase all over the Internet, on Pinterest boards, college dorm room walls, and coffee mugs—used time and time again to remind us that God is still good in the midst of trials and pain and suffering.

A few weeks ago, I had a really painful situation occur with one of the people I love most, and I almost lost them. I felt completely betrayed. As a result, I lost a lot of trust in that person. And it occurred to me that I have no idea how people survive the painful situations in their lives if they do not believe in God.

I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel, the lie that tells us if we believe in God enough and work hard enough to somehow live lives worthy of His love, then He will lavish upon us riches and good fortune. But I do believe that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17), and that God’s good plan ultimately ends in the restoration of His kingdom and eternal life spent in worship of the Creator God (Revelation 21–22).

But is God still good when everything stable, everything you thought you knew, is ripped out from under you? Or when your boyfriend breaks your heart? Is He good when your grandmother gets cancer? Is God still good when the plans you had for your life fall apart right in front of you?

Yes. He is.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were really good examples of living out that Pinterest-worthy saying: Even if not, He is still good. They trusted in God so fiercely that they agreed to be put in a fiery furnace to prove their heartfelt belief. They risked their lives for their faith by refusing to bow before anyone or anything but God. In doing so, they brought Him glory. And when pushed on the matter by the king, they simply said, “Even if [our God] does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up” (Daniel 3:18).

Their faith in God’s provision and protection was so strong that they were willing to walk into the fire, believing that He would save them. And they were confident in their decision because of their dedication to their God—even if He chose not to rescue them from the fire.

The same is true for us. No matter the circumstances that come our way, when we walk through the pain and trials of life, this truth remains: we are still His, and He is still ours (Isaiah 43:2). And He is still good.

The end result for these three men? A king convinced of the goodness of God and a whole empire of people now told to worship Him, instead of the false gods and idols of their past. All because of the faith of three men and their willingness to say, “Even if not, He is still good.”

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57 thoughts on "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego"

  1. Christina Maddox says:

    I like verse 27 that says there was no smell of fire on them. This gives me hope that when I face adversity, painful situations that I can truly be unaffected by the situation when I put my hope in God! What a great promise, what great love He gives us.

  2. Megan says:

    Dearest Churchmouse,

    Though we have never met I feel so drawn to your words and insight. I value your input and the wisdom God has blessed you with. I, along with so many others who love you, will be praying for you. Much love and hugs

  3. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would remember that God told us we would have trouble in the life, but that he has overcome the world.

  4. Rachel says:

    The song “Even If” by Mercy Me goes along perfectly with this devotional. It’s a song I’ve had on repeat a lot during my most uncertain times.

  5. Sue says:

    CHURCHMOUSE, Praying God’s presence will be very near to you as you walk this journey and that you will be given the strength for each day.

  6. Anne Jones says:

    Prayers for you Churchmouse. You encourage and inspire me with your faith.

  7. Kathryn Green says:

    Jesus showed up in the fire with them! I forgot about that when I’d read the story before. Jesus showed up! Walked with them in the fire. Incredible. The king even sees him and recognizes him as looking like a “son of gods.” Wow I’m blown away. Jesus, plain as day, in Daniel that was written how many centuries before Christ. Awesome. Jesus, you are the best!

  8. Claire says:

    Can’t believe how much this reading describes my life right now; my dad being diagnosed with ALS, and the plans I had for my next few years shattering in front of me.

    But God is with us through the fiery furnace.
    “When you pass through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Isaiah 43:2

    These are the exact words I needed to hear today.

  9. Rachel Rodriguez says:

    A great verse from Isaiah. We may still feel the heat when we walk through the fires in our life, but if we walk with God we are never truly scorched by it.

  10. Haley says:

    This is amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Mandy Ferrugia says:

    Oh to have a faith like that! I pray that God will strengthen my faith to the level of these three men!

  12. Kim says:

    Rejoicing with you, Candi!!

  13. Karen Lockwood says:

    SRT, I wonder why the times of posts are often not accurate? The post Churchmouse made today said 13 minutes ago when I looked at it, and some of the posts from others clearly responding to this say a year ago?

    1. Mandy Ferrugia says:

      I’ve noticed this too! I thought it was just my app, glad I’m not the only one.

    2. Susan Crosby says:

      I have noticed this same thing many times with previous studies also. I hesitate to even reply because of the time stamps that seem to be all over the place.

    3. Jessie Chatigny says:

      This is because, I think, this study has been released before (as two studies men /women separate). So some it’s the comments are from the first time around. Maybe :)

  14. Krystle says:

    Churchmouse, I am praying for healing, strength, and peace for you!

  15. Candi Salenieks says:

    I just have to share with you all that God has worked a miracle in our lives! Three years ago, my daughter, then 12, was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia that can cause sudden cardiac death. We have since prayed for healing and for her to be able to be off the medication. That day has come!! After several tests over the last 6 months that show a normal heart rhythm, yesterday doctor took her off he medication! At first although I felt grateful, I felt tentative because I was worried she could have an aberrant heartbeat that could cause sudden cardiac death. But, God has been working on my heart now I just feel so grateful and I trust what He’s done without reservation. Our God is amazing! He saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and He saved us! He is faithful and true, He is mighty and compassionate, He is a God who saves, He is a God who heals! He healed my baby girl and I couldn’t be more grateful!!

    1. Laurie Crary says:

      Praise Him, our God of miracles !!

  16. Candi Salenieks says:

    I just have to share here that 3 years ago my daughter, then 12, was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia that could cause sudden cardiac death. We prayed for God to heal her if that and for her to be able to live without medication. That day has come! She has had several tests over the last 6 months all showing a normal heart rhythm and yesterday, the doctor took her off her medication! I, at first felt very tentative, while grateful for healing , I was worried she could still have an aberrant heartbeat that could cause sudden cardiac death. But, He has been working on me and you know what He still works miracles! He saved Shadrack, Meshak & Abednego & He saved my daughter. He is not a distant God. He is Faithful & True. He is mighty and compassionate & He has healed my baby girl!!

  17. Mari V says:

    No matter what, God is still on the throne! I believe this with all my heart! Through pain and trials I hold onto this truth. I am not walking this journey alone. God is with me.

    1. Tree Z says:

      That is what I heard loudly too, Emanuel – God is with us – thank you Jesus

  18. Amy C says:

    Dear Churchmouse,

    Your faith is strong and I am thankful for you sharing your insight in these devotions but also for your transparency with trials you are experiencing. I am praying for you today – for strength of mind, body and spirit! Take your light and shine it upon the people you encounter (medical staff and other patients) on your journey through this physical trial. God has asked you to do this for Him by giving you these physical ailments that require the help of a community whose belief system is often based on science and not on faith. As you are able, please keep our community abreast of how you are doing and what we can pray for. Much love to you!

    1. Karen Lockwood says:

      Amen!

  19. NanaK says:

    “…they ask that we would not pray for their safety, but rather that their suffering would advance the gospel in a mighty way.” WOW!!!! Lord God, hear the prayers of your dear saints and have mercy on them as they seek to further Your Kingdom–regardless of the cost to themselves. Father, forgive me when I am weak and only cry out for myself in the midst of trials and suffering. In all things, may You be glorified and the gospel advanced. Amen.

    Churchmouse, praying that above all else, you will feel the Father’s arms around you, giving you strength and courage and peace as you face the uncertain days ahead.

    1. Karen Lockwood says:

      Amen to all of this, Nanak!

  20. Kimiark says:

    Praying for you, Churchhouse!

  21. Monica Davis says:

    God is STILL GOOD. amen!

  22. G C says:

    Where I live in Asia people are making choices similar to this on a daily basis. Choosing to meet together and worship God costs people their jobs, their homes, and now even their freedom. Claiming the name of Christ brings public ridicule and failing grades to university students. But in the face of all of this they ask that we would not pray for their safety, but rather that their suffering would advance the gospel in a mighty way. They count it all joy to be able to suffer for the name of Christ in their generation. Faith like this should inspire us all.

    1. Kerry Rowley says:

      As I sit in my comfy home in America it is easy to forget that there are those suffering for Christ today. Thank you for this reminder.

  23. Churchmouse says:

    I’ve never thought about “incidental findings” until recently. I went in for one medical test and came out needing several more. The doctor said there were “incidental findings.” They weren’t looking for other problems but found them just the same. The results of followup testing revealed a cancer in one area and potential infection in another. These incidental findings don’t feel incidental. BUT GOD was good when I went in for the initial testing and He is good today. Goodness is His very nature and He is an unchanging God. I trusted Him before the initial testing and I trust Him now. How could I call myself a believer if I didn’t? These current challenges are no challenge or surprise to God. They arent really a surprise to me, though the timing surely is. The Bible tells me there is trouble in this world and Christians are not immune. I am blessed though because I can draw on the strength of my good God. My circumstances have shifted but my God hasn’t. That’s good news in the midst of not so good. I stand on His Word. The Word is no “incidental finding.” It is TRUTH, unchanging and eternal. I am holding it front and center. And it is holding me.

    1. Kristin Vanderboor says:

      What a powerful testimony to Gods grace. I pray you remain steadfast in this trial!

    2. Kristin Vanderboor says:

      What a powerful testimony to Gods grace! May you remain steadfast in your faith during this trial!

    3. AnneLyn P says:

      Praying for you, Churchmouse. May you be encouraged in your journey. God is good and faithful.

    4. Mari V says:

      Churchmouse, I will be praying for YOU. I admire your strength. I know it’s all God!

    5. Karen Lockwood says:

      Praying for you, Churchmouse. I pray for God to guide those who care for you and that you be always aware of His presence with you and be filled with His peace that passes all understanding.

    6. Mandy Ferrugia says:

      Praying for you, sweet sister!

    7. Candi Salenieks says:

      Praying for you Churchmouse! ❤️

    8. Gina Glennon says:

      Praying for you Church Mouse as our good God walks alongside you throughout this journey.

    9. Shawn Parks says:

      So grateful that you chose to share your “incidental” insight. Your grace and faith reminds me of God’s perfect perspective!

    10. Willonda McCloud says:

      Blessing to You. Continue to hold to God’s unchanging hand.

    11. Obi O says:

      Praying for you Churchmouse!

    12. Bessie H says:

      I’m praying that God will hold you in the palm of His hand and whisper sweet peace to you. You are precious to us, Churchmouse. We treasure your wisdom and courage during the battles you face. We will walk beside you as you face this challenge.

    13. Linda J says:

      Praying for you Churchmouse. Your comments and testimony have blessed so many. I’ve often thought you should be Church Lion! Stay strong and fierce in your faith.

    14. Melissa Graves says:

      Amen, Churchmouse. I had a similar experience 17 years ago. He was the same good, kind and faithful God through it all. May He drench you in His grace and mercy and cause others to be drawn to Him as a result ❤️

    15. Becky Ryden says:

      I always look for your response post so I feel like I know you. I am sad to hear about the “findings” but I know you are strong and now we will all watch you be strong in suffering. Praying for you as you make decisions and deal with something that could potentially steal your joy. Praying it doesn’t and that you find “incidental moments of beauty and grace.”

  24. Alexandra Bartolet says:

    I have always enjoyed reading this story. Faced with adversity, faced with tough situations are we willing to turn our back on God? Do we turn to other things to satisfy us work, money, etc because we are afraid of the furnace? So many times in my life I know I have, it’s human nature to want to rely on ourselves control what we can control and forget or maybe not trust that God can provide. It would have been easy for Shadrach, Meshsch, and Adednego to be afraid of the king and bow down. And I am sure at least one of them was like are we sure we wanna chance this furnace thing? Haha. But that’s another reason why in our walk in faith we don’t do it alone, community is important so that when we are facing hard circumstances we have our community reminding us that God always provides. Even when he is not, he is.

  25. Shawn Parks says:

    I wonder how many people bowed to the golden statue because it was easier to follow the crowd. I wonder how many fell to their knees because standing for God would cause them to stand out. I wonder how many heard the sound of the horns, flutes, and lyres and looked around to see if everyone was bowing. I wonder if as they placed their head on the ground beside their fellow citizen they justified the compliance because of their job or position. I wonder if they were conflicted about following this edict. I wonder if they felt shame or relief when the three men emerged from the furnace unharmed. I wonder if they got a glimpse of the fourth man in the furnace. I wonder if this experience changed their hearts when the king required them to change their practice. Fill me the faith and conviction in You, dear Lord, so that emboldened by Your truth I am willing and able to stand against the edicts of this society and not be influenced by the sounds of this world and bow my heart only to You the one true God.

  26. Molly Bronson says:

    Such a good word today. How many times has the depth of our faith depended on the result or outcome of whatever we’re facing? How many times have we bargained with God to produce miracles and then blamed him when things don’t go our way? Instead we should be clinging to him through ups, and downs, highs and lows, praising and worshipping Him for WHO HE IS, not just what He does.

  27. Sue says:

    A beautiful song, Even If, by MercyMe sums up this devotional really well:

    I know You’re able and I know You can
    Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone
    I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
    Would all go away if You’d just say the word
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone

    May I be able to say, no matter what my life circumstances:
    It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    1. Jennifer Wheeler says:

      Yes! Love that song!

    2. Linda J says:

      This song helped me through a painful time. Wonderful message and so completely aligned with this devotion.

  28. Angie says:

    I like to be safe. I try to be safe. I pray, multiple times a day for God’s safety and protection over the people I love. I pray it for total strangers when I see an accident, hear a siren, or even just see the hollowness in a cashier or barista’s eyes. I like safe. I like the peace of mind that everything is going to be okay and even good.

    I am sure Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (a.k.a. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendneo) liked safe also. They held position as wise men and leaders in Babylon but, make no mistake, they were captives. Captives allowed to use their gifts and talents to further Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. They were seemingly “safe.” Considering their situation, their needs were met, they even had power in certain situations – as long as they didn’t make waves with the boss.

    But then their boss, brought a tidal wave down upon them. Idol worship had been a reoccurring sin in the Israelite community. Subtle influences would entice God’s chosen into worship of the gods of the nations around them. Although, there was nothing subtle about Nebuchadnezzar’s decree – Worship the idol or be burned to death.

    This situation was what my dad used to call, “where the rubber meets the road.” What was more important to these men – honoring God, or keeping face with the king? They chose well and God was glorified. Through these men’s obedience and faith in their real BOSS, once again the nation under Nebuchadnezzar saw the power of the One and Only God and King.

    So, at my job, amongst my friends, in my home…what will I do when the “rubber meets the road,” because it does, every day…sometimes subtly others blatantly? The song, More Than Anything, by Natalie Grant, comes to my mind. My I live moments, minutes, hours, days, years…the rest of my life desiring, passionately loving God more than the gifts, the healing, or the saving.

  29. Janice says:

    I agree, I don’t know how people get through tough situations without faith. God didn’t promise us a life without challenges, He promised He’d be with us in those challenges. Praise God, Amen

  30. Afua Tobigah says:

    From Daniel to his 3 friends, now the question I’m asking myself is do I treasure God? Do I love ❤️ Him because of Him or the the benefit I know I would gain from Him? When I pray, read the Bible or do any good thing, is it because of the reward I expect to obtain of is it because I want to give Him the Glory. I feel the Spirit of God telling me Child it’s okay, do not feel guilty. Now you know your heart posture because you are studying the word. I have prayed to him to help me serve Him because I Love him but not because of what I would gain from serving Him. I know He would

  31. Kristen says:

    I love this story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! May we be able live like that! I keep being reminded in my reading that God doesn’t change! She referenced James 1:17 that says God does not change like shifting shadows. People may change, but God is the same. He doesn’t sleep or slumber. He’s all powerful, and faithful! That calls for adoration and praise!